No business as usual

25 November 2019 | Columns

African liberation movements, now with their hands on the levers of power in their respective countries, have persistently stood accused of simply becoming enablers of massive state looting.

Namibia's ruling party is not immune. South Africa, a nation that was once viewed as the hope of the continent and a torchbearer for African excellence, is in the midst of a plethora of probes in the wholesale capture of its state by elements that siphoned off hundreds of billions through the targeting of parastatals and other government contracts. In Angola, investigations are ongoing into how former president Eduardo dos Santos and his family benefited massively from the resources of the oil-rich nation. In Zimbabwe, Zanu-PF, under the now late Robert Mugabe, turned into an instrument to keep the erstwhile dictator in power for decades.

This has taken place as ordinary citizens continue to suffer from the yoke of poverty, while individuals have accumulated wealth at a rate of astronomical proportions. Here in Namibia, our beloved motherland, one in two youth are at home without jobs. Our economy is in a monstrous depression, and we have made little or no progress to protect ourselves from the external economic shocks and others that have dragged our credit ratings into junk.

We are also in the midst of an election battle that is expected to culminate in about 1.3 million potential voters going to the polls on Wednesday. Spare a thought for Swapo, which staggers to the polls amid an unfolding fishing bribery scandal that will hopefully lead to some deep introspection and the individuals involved being given their day in court.

What has become increasingly obvious is that the status quo in Namibia cannot remain. Whoever emerges as the governing party and president after these elections will have to display, in action, what is required to drag our nation out of this corruption morass.

There is no way that our resource-rich nation can continue to primarily benefit those with no conscience.

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