Is this election year for real?

02 October 2019 | Columns

The presidential and National Assembly elections are slated for next month - yes, next month. Yet as things stand, it's nearly impossible to tell what key issues and themes are dominating the discourse and build-up to the elections.

There are no clear key messages to inspire the electorate to not only vote for a specific political formation, but even just to vote at all.

Surely, it is not the Swapo convoy of expensive motorbikes and Golf Rs last weekend in Ombili informal settlement, or the opposition's incoherent waffling that will smoke voters out of their cocoons to go and vote.

Even on social media, where many a voter has a chance to tap into the thinking of political players, comrades are stone-silent on what their movements would do for particularly the downtrodden.

Instead, social media is awash with photos of individuals in party regalia posing for selfies to appease their party leaders for parochial motivations. How is posing in a party scurf going to extract underground water for the thirsty masses in Eengodi constituency in Oshikoto, or get the youth of Karasburg out of their joblessness misery?

What is the PDM's plan to mitigate the hunger ravaging communities nationwide as a result of the prevailing drought? Surely, we are not asking McHenry Venaani and his party to bring the rain, but measures do exist that would help fend off starvation.

Unemployment is at an all-time high, so how would Swapo use its new mandate - if elected into power again - to change the status quo for the better?

These are pertinent questions still begging for answers, a month before elections are held.

Under the circumstances, it is nearly inevitable to conclude that our politicians are gripped by arrogance and a misplaced, bloated sense of self-importance that they can choose not campaign on issues.

Yes, voters are generally fed up with empty promises, but politicians must not swerve away from the old tradition of sharing their plans with the masses.