Land scarcity, empty promises and fake excuses
Politicians who thrive on rhetoric and empty promises have for too long escaped the wrath of Namibian voters and the electorate has only itself to blame.
When are we going to see a constituency councillor standing with his people in front of a bulldozer in protest against further demolitions of the houses of the poor in Katutura or indeed elsewhere in the country?
We are posing this critical question because we have lately observed councillors in Katutura siding with City authorities during their shack demolition campaign.
This is contrary to the promises made during these politicians’ election campaigns that they would stand up for their people and march with them through thick and thin.
As we see it now, there is a growing gap between the councillors’ rhetoric and their actions.
Many of them are the leading proponents of such demolitions, having successfully forgotten the very promises they uttered when they campaigned for the votes of these very people.
We would have expected councillors to side with their people in times like this. We expected them to plead with City authorities to, for example, suspend the demolitions until winter is over.
A caring leader at that level is one who would ask the municipality to make alternative land available so those evicted could be resettled. Another councillor might instead approach State House to ask for the President’s intervention.
But we also re-iterate our long-held belief that anarchy should not be tolerated. Procedures must be followed when acquiring land.
Local authorities all over the country have become too capitalist. Instead of selling land to aspiring homeowners, they want to place land on auction. This, according to them, provides them with a chance of raking in big money.
Some local authority councils brag about making profits. Swakopmund was the latest to trumpet loudly its healthy bottom line.
As long as land is acquired along strictly commercial means, then we are doomed as a nation. By the way, what happened to plans to incorporate land resettlement programmes into local authority operations?
The current resettlement programme mainly caters for those who are willing to settle on farms that government has acquired. What about a labourer who works in Windhoek or Walvis Bay and therefore wants a piece of land not too far from where he works?
The people’s patience has been tested to the limit. A vast country like ours should not struggle to accommodate its 2,1 million people.