The winds of change

09 January 2019 | Columns

There seems to be a change in the air - at least politically - sparking the hope that 2019 will be the year that we finally move past liberation politics to a true deepening of democracy.

During many times in 2018, this editorial spoke of a move to issue-based politics. With the campaigns set to begin in earnest ahead of this year’s general elections, one can only hope that the electorate will forge a new path in Namibia’s democratic history, where the past is no longer used to cajole.

The battle of ideas should now take centre stage; it should no longer be enough to simply rattle off struggle credentials. The lack of political oxygen in this space should leave this dinosaur-type politics floundering. It should no longer be enough to simply box certain political entities as competent or not, on the basis of their proximity to the liberation struggle.

How on earth do we expect to grapple with our manifold challenges, when we do not evaluate and interrogate policy and leadership capability, when it comes to choosing our candidates and parties of choice?

What has become painfully obvious is that many parties in this country have become trapped in the struggle paradigm, while others are always on the defensive when it comes to their history.

What Namibia needs is to move past history and embrace the reality that new and innovative solutions are needed. And if political parties still wish to play in the past, they should be held accountable for this.

The youth have already shown the way, by challenging the status quo on many fronts. It is, after all, the young among us who will have to live with the decisions made by those who still want to live in past glories and trumpet past accomplishments.

Let us unpack the issues that matter to this nation and make political decisions based on who has the know-how and impetus to take us forward.

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