Business people in Oshana region did not turn up at a meeting meant for them to meet and engage the Minister of Finance Mr Ipumbu Shiimi on the National Budget (Mid-Term Review).

The meeting was also supposed to be an opportunity to get explanations from the Minister about government’s commitment and plans on business recovery and entrepreneurship in the country.

Shiimi, who was accompanied by the Director of the National Planning Commission (NPC) Mr Obeth Kandjoze, had to make do with just 12 people who were in attendance at the meeting held today at Oshana Regional Council’s Leo Shoopala Hall.

Most of those in attendance were community members from Oshakati who could hardly speak English.

While the meeting was announced on the NCCI’s northern WhatsApp group where a poster was shared which bore the logo of the Ministry of Finance as well as the logo of NCCI, none of the notable NCCI members showed up.

In the poster it was said that “The National Budget is the most important and crucial tool in the country’s developmental agenda as it sets the tone and provides a clear indication of how the country’s limited resources are going to be allocated. It is of paramount importance that the decisions on how resources are allocated or spent be influenced by the country’s citizens, including the business community.”

The invitation poster also stated: “Please, come give your input and influence or guide the budgetary process to build a better economy and improve welfare. Moreover, communicate the issues of business development in your region and how they can be addressed.”

Only for the business community not to turn up.

When reached for comment NCCI’s CEO Ms Charity Mwiya did not pick up her phone.

Shiimi is on a northern consultation visit that saw him meet with northern farmers at Ongwediva – as well as Oshana’s political leadership in Oshakati – on 1 August, and then proceeding to meet with those in Omusati at Outapi – as well as visiting Etunda Irrigation Scheme in Ruacana Constituency – on 2 August.

On 3 August he was back in Oshana to meet with local business people, who did not turn up to see him.

Next he will be in Rundu on 4 August.

In the photo: The meeting today in Oshakati that was poorly attended. (Inset is Minister Ipumbu Shiimi making a point to those who attended. Next to him is NPC’s Director Obeth Kandjoze.)