Enough empty talk

10 January 2019 | Columns

For far too long Namibia has grappled with the problem of the sheer absence of accountability and responsibility in both the public and private sectors.

As a nation, we have been complacent with most of our dealings and this has cost us dearly over the years.

The high levels of corruption that have become so pervasive among the political elite and their handlers serve to underline all that is wrong about our state of affairs as a nation.

The lack of accountable leadership within the public service, specifically, has been frustrating to say the least. It is sickening.

We can preach as much as we want but the current public accountability mechanisms are not as efficient and effective as claimed by the powers that be.

There is a great fear that the lack of accountability has corroded public respect for political leaders as well as their counterparts in the corporate world. Whilst public office-bearers are answerable to the appointing authority there is a growing culture within government that sees certain officials wield so much influence, to such an extent that they seem to be accountable to no one.

Now that President Hage Geingob has declared 2019 as the year of accountability, it is our sincere hope that government will promote greater accountability and transparency in order to encourage public participation in policymaking and a culture of holding our leaders accountable. One of the best ways to deepen our hard-won democracy is to foster a culture of transparency and accountability.

With 2019 also being an election year, it would be the perfect opportunity to appraise the progress made by politicians as far as their 2014 electoral promises are concerned.

Only less talk and more action can fix the mess we find ourselves in, especially the state of our economy, which is currently languishing in the doldrums.

Namibians deserve better in 2019 and beyond. We say an unequivocal and resounding “no” to any more empty words.

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