Independence is worth celebrating

25 February 2020 | Opinion

“Freedom is not worth having if it does not include the freedom to make mistakes,” the great Mahatma Gandhi once said. Namibia is currently embroiled in a heated debate on whether it is worth celebrating our independence. Antagonists have pointed out at the soaring rates of unemployment, poverty, inequality and so forth as reasons enough not to celebrate independence. These are the 'mistakes' Gandhi referred to. To politicians, who have made it a habit to accrue extra money in S&T by traversing the country to attend independence anniversary celebrations, 21 March represents a special payday. It means feasting on well-prepared traditional cuisines, snoozing in cosy hotels, networking (often for personal political gain) and a perfect justification to duck out from the actual work they were placed in public office for. While this day has largely become a regurgitation of history to score cheap political victories, its fundamental ideals are still relevant. It is not true that Namibia is worse today than it was in 1990, except on issues such as greed, patronage and corruption. The ordinary woman in Ohalushu who now has tap water, freedom of movement and is safe from brutal unprovoked beatings or casspirs running over her crops is surely in a better space today – and that's worth celebrating.

But, of course, in the psyche of a Namibian politician, celebrating means throwing parties with taxpayer money. In the corridors of power, 'celebrating' is interpreted in a carnival sense – convoys, gun salutes, dancing and catering tenders. All 14 regional governors, regional councillors, mayors and many high-ranking officials of the State are likely to descend onto Windhoek on the day to listen to the speech of the president when they could simply watch it live on TV. The day is worth celebrating but not in the manner that we have adopted over a span of three decades. Times have evolved and progressive nations, whose history is as painful as ours, have moved away from throwing millions into partying. It is through these parties that we forget about the sacrifices we have made and the convictions for which many sons and daughters of this land died.

Similar News

 

Needed: Stimulus packages

1 day - 31 March 2020 | Opinion

Many countries hit by the coronavirus scourge have hammered out ways in which to keep their economies afloat, especially after the stay-home directive is over...

Let’s be serious

2 days ago - 30 March 2020 | Opinion

News has started filtering in of unruly citizens who are defying the lockdown measures, including continuing to drink alcohol on the streets of Katutura and...

A test of our humanity

5 days ago - 27 March 2020 | Opinion

As the coronavirus continues to dominate our daily lives as humans, living like a thorn in our collective psyche, it also represents an opportunity to...

Focus on the poor!

6 days ago - 26 March 2020 | Opinion

While those of us privileged enough to work and earn salaries rush to stock up for the immediate lockdown of the economic powerhouse regions of...

These are extraordinary times

1 week ago - 25 March 2020 | Opinion

Namibia, like the rest of the world, is in a panic mode. The country’s streets, especially in the capital Windhoek, are reminiscent of Kolmanskop, a...

Cuito Cuanavale remembered

1 week ago - 25 March 2020 | Opinion

RODOLFO BENÍTEZ VERSON Monday, 23 March, marked the 32nd anniversary of the Battle of Cuito Cuanavale. That remote town in Angola became a symbol...

Cabinet appointments offer a glimpse of hope

1 week ago - 24 March 2020 | Opinion

The nation has generally welcomed the appointment of ministers to the new cabinet, as announced late on Sunday.President Hage Geingob knew he had to get...

Social distancing

1 week ago - 24 March 2020 | Opinion

The Zone asked some learners what they would do once the social distancing has been lifted from Namibia, and this was what they said: ...

State House gathering was reckless

1 week ago - 23 March 2020 | Opinion

President Hage Geingob's second term has started off on a note of broken promises. His crowded inauguration on Saturday broke the very broad policy pronouncements...

So begins the ‘legacy term’

1 week ago - 20 March 2020 | Opinion

Today marks the last day of President Hage Geingob’s first term in office. Frankly, this was probably the worst five years of our republican life.Though...

Latest News

Holes emerge in lockdown plan

7 hours ago | Disasters

JEMIMA BEUKESWINDHOEKWith law-enforcement agencies having their hands full monitoring entry into the locked-down Erongo and Khomas regions, an oversight has led to the different routes...

49 now quarantined at Zambezi...

7 hours ago | Disasters

ELLANIE SMIT WINDHOEKAbout 49 Namibians, including immigration officials and students, are in quarantine at the state-owned Zambezi Waterfront Tourism Park in Katima Mulilo. Zambezi governor...

‘Govt must feed us’

7 hours ago | Disasters

ILENI NANDJATOOSHAKATIInformal traders are appealing to the government to feed them after the coronavirus outbreak necessitated the closure of open markets and the halting of...

April 1 no fool’s day...

7 hours ago | History

STAFF REPORTERWINDHOEKThe former chief of staff of Swapo’s armed wing PLAN, Charles Namoloh, says it is time the nation recognised the historical importance of 1...

Samherji’s Fishrot boss back on...

7 hours ago | Fishing

CATHERINE SASMANWINDHOEKThe Icelandic company implicated in the Namibian Fishrot scandal, Samherji, last week announced that its disgraced former CEO, Thorsteinn Már Baldvinsson, would return to...

Agriculture battles coronavirus

7 hours ago | Agriculture

STAFF REPORTER WINDHOEK While the agriculture ministry has gathered all stakeholders to discuss the impact of the coronavirus on the livestock sector, the industrialisation ministry...

Farmers keen on AALS

7 hours ago | Agriculture

ELLANIE SMIT WINDHOEK There has been a marked interest from farmers, particularly from previously disadvantaged backgrounds, regarding the Affirmative Action Loan Scheme (AALS).Agribank's manager for...

Students raise online learning concerns

7 hours ago | Education

Ester KamatiWINDHOEKThe Students Union of Namibia (SUN) wants the University of Namibia (Unam) to reconsider its decision to offer online learning, due to poor internet...

The struggle to get home

7 hours ago | Transport

Ester KamatiWindhoek The owner of a Khomasdal home shop and takeaway, Gerhard van der Westhuizen, says he is concerned about the safety of his staff,...

Load More