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Namwandi the real deal
Yes. As remotely impossible as it sounds, Education Deputy Minister Dr David Namwandi could just be what the doctor has prescribed for Namibia’s spiraling corruption woes.
His arrival at Luther Street two years ago has been characterised by a visionary leadership that has kept teachers and others in the education sector on their toes.
He has paid surprise visits to schools where anarchy among both learners and teachers has been reported – a habit that earned him more foes than friends in the education fraternity.
Trade union leaders and self-styled human right activists condemned his behavior. They said these visits are meant to intimidate and harass teachers.
But love him or loathe him, Namwandi is a strict disciplinarian whose deep-seated dislike for corruption, anarchy and ill-discipline is there for all to see.
Last week he brought the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) in his own ministry to investigate possible fraud in the procurement division.
Many a politician would conceal such self-serving incidences in the name of protecting their ministry’s image.
He ordered an investigation into allegations of sex-for-marks at Unam by the ACC, which recently confirmed that indeed some lecturers have demanded sex from their students in return for academic marks.
This was after students have alerted him about such incidences – although many politicians would have pushed such allegations under the carpet.
When talk of academic fraud engulfed the Polytechnic of Namibia last year, Namwandi instructed his ministry’s former permanent secretary Vitalis Ankama to investigate that institution and the results are now out.
His activities against corruption and ill-discipline are too many to list here but the point we are trying to make is that he is a different kind of politicians.
He is cut from a rare kind of fabric. In Swapo circles he is seen as a political greenhorn. Maybe his liberation struggle credentials do not speak much volume but as a country, we are moving in a direction where such records will no longer matter.
The challenges facing our contemporary society cannot be solved by diplomacy. It will take a hands-on leadership to amend dents left on our country by corruption and Namwandi fits in those gloves.
Amidst calls for a president from the Tanga Group, female or non-Omuwambo, nobody has really stood up to tell this nation about the presidential qualities needed to take this country forward.
We need a person of Namwandi’s attitude to lead our country in the future. And if there is none, let Namwandi be that man.