Needed: Dynamic, vibrant leaders

01 March 2019 | Columns

There is no doubt that one of the significant factors holding Namibia back from greatness is the composition and make-up of our political landscape, and ageing leaders who don’t know when to retire.

It is clear as daylight that we have a gerontocracy problem in this country, considering the large number of pensioners still holding leadership roles, especially in parliament as well as at local and regional government level. Most of these politicians, with due respect, are long-in-the-tooth and long past the ability to grapple with both domestic and global issues. Most of them simply don’t have the energy and stamina to drive agendas in the interest of the nation. Modern-day politics isn’t about our long and bitter struggle for emancipation. The world has changed and is ever-changing. To put it bluntly, what is required now are fresh eyes and fresh perspectives to overcome serious and perennial challenges in society. This country needs more practical idealists who will never compromise on their principles. It is quite strange that many of these tried-and-tested cadres, as they prefer to be called, no longer have a strong and united voice when it comes to the oppressed, and those seeking social justice in their daily lives. They have adopted a deafening silence when it comes to fighting corruption in the public service. There is no serious attention given to jobs, fixing our problematic public healthcare system and quality of education, among other priority areas. What we are now witnessing is a generational battle, as old warhorses refuse to step aside and make way for young blood. There must be a political will in place to help ignite a sense of optimism within young people when it comes to politics. Generating opinions and shaping attitudes that serve to challenge or affirm the state of affairs in our country should be the mainstay of our society.

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