Poverty driving many to the grave

31 July 2020 | Opinion

For weeks, column inches of this editorial have been occupied by whining and blabbering about inequality in Namibia, not only as observed by global development agencies, but particularly as felt on the ground by our people.

In truth, we don't need to be reminded by perfumed experts in New York or Brussels about inequality in our country, when this is the reality that meets the eye the moment we set foot outside our homes.

Even those living in the leafy suburbs of Windhoek, supposedly away from the downtrodden of the city, are greeted to visuals of poverty in the form of people, including children, savaging rotten food in their waste bins.

Just recently we bemoaned the arrogance of rich people, such as Fishrot suspects, dangling their millions in the face of magistrates as bait for their wanted bails. Yet in Rundu, a destitute mother who only had N$20 to her name, was sent to prison because she could not afford a N$3 000 fine.

The said mother was convicted of having neglected her newborn baby, whose upkeep she could not guarantee. The girl, now aged five years, is alive and kicking. But she will grow up without a mother, who committed suicide this week Tuesday in police cells.

The mother had just been discharged from hospital on Monday after recovering from injuries sustained from another failed suicide attempt, emanating from fighting over a government food donation.

As long as poverty persists, more lives will be lost in this and other similar ways.