Politicians must be held accountable

05 February 2019 | Columns

Although the Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) is yet to declare campaigning for the 2019 general election officially open, the stage has already been set for what could be an interesting electioneering year.

The sudden caring attitude portrayed by the presidency, when it declared informal settlements a humanitarian crisis, has been met with mixed feelings, and rightly so. Obviously, our ever-reactive political parties have also jumped on the bandwagon by dismissing the so-called intervention by the head of state as another empty promise. After years of consistently voting the ruling party into power, there is a feeling among the party faithful that Swapo has not delivered on its electoral promises, considering the lack of political will to tackle the challenges of poverty, housing, public healthcare and quality education. The government of the day is also visibly struggling to restart the growth engines of the economy, given that there exists no actionable plans emphasising how the economy should be industrialised or how broad-based economic empowerment can be achieved. The government has an important role to play in the economic activities of any nation, and helping the private sector to create the bulk of jobs, must be accompanied by facilitative policies, and an enabling environment. Politicians preach economic emancipation all the time, but once in power, they totally forget about those who mandated them to lead in the first place. It is equally disturbing that politicians only opt to make the right noises during an election year. Our nation would have seen its fair share of social and economic transformation over the last couple of years, had politicians delivered on the election promises of yesteryear. Burning issues are often put on the backburner, until an election rolls around. Therefore, it is necessary that parties and candidates address issues that confront our nation on a daily basis. We must ensure that politicians are held accountable and responsible for their empty promises, and for ultimately preying on the poor citizens of this country, with their lofty and unachievable targets.

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