President of Namibia, Hage Geingob, has with immediate effect banned all foreign travel for public office bearers.
In a statement published on January 31, 2018 via the government’s Twitter handle, the president said the move was to ‘rein in public expenditure.’
“This directive is specifically in the interest of curtailing public expenditure, no request for outbound travel of Ministers, Deputy Ministers and other Political Office Bearers will be considered until after the end of February 2018.
The President has lead by example on containing his own travel expenditure by only taking absolutely critical outbound travel and with smaller delegations since assuming office almost three years ago.
“The President has lead by example on containing his own travel expenditure by only taking absolutely critical outbound travel and with smaller delegations since assuming office almost three years ago,” the statement added.
The president has made two outbound trips between December 2017 and January 2018, he opted to forgo the presidential jet when going for vacation late last year. He also boarded a commercial flight to Ethiopia where he participated in the 30th African Union summit.
Namibia began cutting public spending in 2015, particularly in the areas of health, education and defense.
Due to a slowdown in its economy, Namibia’s public debt rose from 2 billion euros in 2013 to 4.8 billion euros in 2017.
Thousands of soldiers will be made to take forced leave from February to reduce the cost of electricity, water and food for the army.
Geingob is leader of the ruling SWAPO party which started out as an independence liberation movement formed in 1960. It has been Namibia’s only governing party since independence in 1990.
The party won the last general elections in November 2014 winning 86.73% of votes and 77 out of 96 legislative seats.