Embracing our realities

31 October 2019 | Columns

If non-Swapo opponents had truly hammered on the reality of what some former liberation movements have done to Southern Africa, the ruling party in Namibia would be in bigger trouble than the poll problem it is currently facing from the country's former chief dentist.

After all, Panduleni Itula and his Swapo presidential candidate opponent are, in a sense, birds of a feather. Both are still clinging to a 'glorious' liberation past, while refusing to embrace the realities we all face because of a virtual one-party rule, jobs for pals and cadre deployment, laced with an awful stench of impunity and the grabbing of state funds for narrow personal interests.

The days of ruling parties simply waltzing their preferred candidate into State House and believing it is business as usual, as factional eating continues unabated, should be long over.

What is needed now from the head of state who will take the reins of our nation after next month's general election, albeit only officially on 21 March next year, is not a cult of personality or an outdated West vs East ideology.

The true realities that must be pulled to the breast include how jobless youth lined up in their thousands for nine cleaner jobs at hospitals on Tuesday. Another reality is our inability to take our economy from being a simple supplier of raw materials towards one that actively nurtures value-addition and downstream opportunities.

Our record on housing in such a meagrely populated country is shocking, as shacks mushroom to alarming levels. So-called cadre deployment, where merit is pushed aside in favour of those sloganeer the loudest, remains a constant yoke.

The idea that you have to see eye to eye with a ruling party or its president to do a job for your country is a disastrous concept. Let the best Namibians in their field take us forward. Patriotism has nothing to do with political affiliation, and neither does party affiliation a great leader maker.

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