History lessons can’t fill bellies

31 July 2019 | Opinion

In the same way citizens cannot eat constitutions, they also cannot eat liberation struggle credentials. As the 2019 general election fast approaches, it is once again time for Namibians to actively debate what kind of leadership is required to take this nation forward. And as we gear up to hear what the different parties have to say, the time is also ripe to move our politics beyond the endless meanderings into the past and who did what in the 1960s, 70s and 80s. These history lessons should remain in school curricula and should not be shoved down the throats of voters. We don’t care at this point who was fighting in the trenches of New York for our freedom. What is at stake today is the realities facing the country. Our glorious and inglorious past may titillate those who wish to use so-called liberation struggle currency as a way to take power, but ordinary Namibians deserve better. We want to know what your action plan is regarding jobs, because our breadwinners have been sent home. We want to know about your plans to secure a better life for poorer communities and how you will create a conducive environment so we can survive and eventually thrive in business. We want to know how you will make sure that the corrupt are sent to jail. We want to know how basic things like access to services will be improved, so our grandparents can live lives filled with dignity. What we do not want to hear about is where you were in 19-whatever. Good for you if you contributed to the struggle. Good for you if you made a difference in the lives of people 30 or 40 years ago. Well done. But don’t expect undying loyalty from those whose bellies remain empty, while Namibia struggles to take care of its 2.5 million people. It’s a shame and a tragedy that a country blessed with so much still has families going to bed with empty stomachs.

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