End political arrogance

29 July 2019 | Columns

Public office-bearers have the moral obligation to serve the interests of ordinary citizens first and foremost, when they assume office. As the direct voters of those serving us, the expectation is that elected politicians will conduct themselves as servant leaders at all times. Given the countless problems befalling our beloved country, we are all yearning for good leadership. Present-day patriotism means struggling against poverty and social injustices. And that is why a great leader is first seen as a servant to others. However, things are different on the ground. We have observed that a huge band of elected representatives are betraying their constituencies and voters alike, considering the shocking lifestyles that many are leading 29 years after independence. The glaring inequality between rich and poor is there for all to see. In fact, it is a gap that continues to widen, with many previously disadvantaged Namibians still living in squalor, compared to the minority few, while those elected into power are continually spending public money on luxuries. Disappointingly, those elected into power have now given themselves an inflated and undue degree of importance and they do not want to be questioned about the state of affairs. There is nothing untoward about ordinary citizens expressing themselves strongly against the government of the day and using their constitutional rights to demand openness and accountability. The primary responsibility of public officials is to serve the interests of ordinary citizens, first and foremost. Ordinary citizens too have the right to demand fiscal accountability and need to how their hard-earned money is being spent by those elected into power. The citizenry have every right to demand change, especially when it comes to matters that directly impact their lives and other priorities that needs attention, like quality education, proper healthcare, food security and employment creation. They are also more than entitled to be able to influence government policy, in a bid to make sure that they are served, and not taken for servants.

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