The year of accountability

28 December 2018 | Columns

The year 2018 will be remembered by many as an inglorious one.

Many households suffered immensely under the yoke of economic hardship and thousands of breadwinners lost their jobs. The suffering and pain was tangible, as many Namibians turned their frustration towards the political elite, while latching onto President Hage Geingob's travelling adventures and the perks still being enjoyed by higher-ups in government, as scapegoats.

For many, seeing the back of 2018 will not result in much gleeful reminiscing about how wonderful the year was.

Namibia remains, chiefly, a supplier of raw materials to developed countries, with very little or no value-addition.

We remain a country that needs loans to finance massive infrastructure projects and the contentious issue of Chinese financing has divided many citizens.

But as we see the back of 2018, we must begin to draw on our resilience as a nation - one that has overcome many pains and obstacles in the past. Our history is laden with the sacrifices of many Namibians, who pulled this country from the edge of the abyss and set it on a democratic path.

That is the beauty of Namibia's citizenry - they are willing and able to embrace unity and strength for the sake of surviving and thriving.

With 2019 being an election year, we must all be mindful of the promises - from various quarters - that will descend upon our ears.

More than ever, politicians need to be held accountable for the things they spew during election campaigns. We have faced one of the toughest years in our country's history and our economy is still faltering, while families struggle to put food on their tables.

Let 2019 be the year of accountability, when civil society and other citizen-based pressure groups demand the best leadership and strategies to take this nation forward.

We can ill-afford to stumble around, rudderless and without viable strategies for real growth and job-creation in the new year.