We need strong institutions

20 November 2020 | Opinion

“Africa doesn’t need strongmen, it needs strong institutions,” former US president Barack Obama remarked while visiting Ghana in 2016.

Goal 16 of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, to which Namibia has subscribed, calls for peace, justice and strong institutions.

It thus goes without saying that strong, independent institutions will ensure stability in any country while keeping leaders in check and accountable.

Our neighbour South Africa is a model for strong public institutions, perhaps evidenced by how corruption and abuse of power has been dealt with in that country, even against a sitting head of state in Jacob Zuma.

Zuma’s exit from power, via resignation, was a result of a looming motion of no confidence in parliament, one of their strongest institutions.

As questions loom large on the credibility of Namibia’s most important institutions such as the judiciary, it is important that the country finds ways to make such bodies stronger and independent.

While the judiciary this week rebuffed allegations that it is becoming corruptible, words alone are not enough.

The current unfavourable perceptions against the judiciary are a result of its own behaviour and conduct.

The stronger the judiciary and its resilience from outside influence, the better our democracy. This nation would cease to exist the day its judiciary is captured.

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