Politicians not above the law

17 December 2019 | Columns

After failing to make it to parliament in the recent general election, many politicians in both the opposition and ruling party Swapo have taken back the positions they had resigned from.

Members of the National Council, regional and local authorities as well as remunerated members of the public service are required by law to resign from those positions when accepting nomination for the National Assembly.

This is specifically contained in Article 47 of the country's constitution, above which no one is, including politicians.

By taking back the jobs from which they had resigned, politicians are trampling on the country's constitution at will - and with impunity.

The official opposition PDM is pushing to send to parliament candidates who had resigned, while yesterday at Oshakati, Katrina Shimbulu, who recently resigned to supposedly comply with Article 47, was sworn in as councillor.

What is clearly emerging is the application of the rule of man, instead of the rule of law, by those in power. They do this with arrogance and disregard, because they believe they are above the constitution. This is the only explanation we can come to in light of this blatant disregard of the country's supreme law.

The irony is that these politicians were vying for the National Assembly, where the country's laws are made. What moral authority would they have had to make laws for others, while they themselves are trampling on existing ones?

The media alone cannot do much, apart from exposing such illegitimate activities. It is up to the nation to demand what is right and lawful from those who profess to be their leaders.

In the so-called year of accountability, it is shocking that politicians on both sides of the divide are allowed to do whatever they like - legal and otherwise.

They are enjoying unfettered 'privilege' to break the law, while anyone else replicating this action would be prosecuted.

We are basically living in a country of two regimes of law. One regime is for the common man, and another for the political elite.

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