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Namibie : A Time for Change

D 22 novembre 2019     H 07:07     A Rinaani Musutua     C 0 messages

NAMIBIA HAS become a kind of chaotic country due to poor governance since independence, and a lack of appreciation for the law by our leaders.

Self-serving leaders have created an environment that is oppressive to the ordinary poor black majority.

The evidence of chaos and lawlessness, amid widespread corruption, maladministration and dysfunctional government agencies is found through cases such as the Namibia-Angola fish quota that was hijacked by leaders and their business partners ; the Kora music awards case ; the Government Institutions Pension Fund (GIPF) losses ; the SME Bank looting ; billions lost by defective state-owned enterprises such as Air Namibia and TransNamib ; and the Namibian Defence Force and National Intelligence Agency’s shady farm purchases.

Hardly anyone has ever been held accountable for all the billions in public funds that have disappeared or been misused, which suggests that the government has little practical control over the country’s affairs. When the government has trouble performing the basic functions of statehood such as accountability, transparency and administrative and organisational tasks, then it truly slides towards chaos.

For the ruling Swapo Party to nominate former education minister Katrina Hanse-Himarwa and former NWR managing director Tobie Aupindi, who both have been found guilty of corruption, and other suspects, as lawmakers, is a sign that our leaders have no respect for the rule of law.

The Namibian Constitution does not allow for convicts to be members of parliament.

Our leaders lack the capability to effectively carry out state functions. The government has since independence not been able to maintain and improve the administrative systems and the inherited infrastructure.

Even though we all rightly condemn colonialism and apartheid, there is evidence that the colonial regime was in some instances more effective at planning and implementing projects, and providing basic services such as access to decent housing, clean water, healthcare, electricity and sanitation than the current government.

Contrary to our expectations, the quality of houses, healthcare, school buildings and sanitation systems have worsened since independence. Never before have we seen this much sewage flowing in the streets of Katutura and other high-density areas around the country on a daily basis.

The Namibian recently reported on broken hospital beds being discarded behind the Katutura Intermediate Hospital, instead of being fixed so that patients don’t have to sleep on hospital floors. Hospitals have run out of crucial medicines and health passports. Lifesaving equipment is broken, and has not been repaired. The home affairs ministry previously ran out of passports, and Natis has run out of licence cards.

There are so many expensive newly constructed government buildings that cost taxpayers billions of dollars that are not being used for no good reason, such as the Agricultural Technology Centre at Ongwediva. Namibia is starting to look like a failed state, and will at some stage collapse, just like many other African countries have done.

We say the Swapo-led government should have run the country effectively after independence in terms of planning, administration, implementation and maintenance of the government’s developmental projects and basic services. We would have had a well-functioning and less chaotic country if it had been run properly from the beginning.

Our leaders never understood the concept of independence. It is as if independence meant ’’sit back, relax, loot and let the country run itself’’.

As the country is sliding into chaos, our leaders seem uninterested and ineffective at running its affairs, and would rather focus on stealing taxpayers’ money. They have shifted their obligations and responsibility to the citizens. And when a government is out of touch with its citizens, it is not able to effectively deliver essential basic services to its people.

We have since independence witnessed how our leaders close their eyes to their responsibilities towards the people. Not long ago, Namibian Sun reported that Windhoek Rural constituency councillor Penina Inga-Ita was telling residents not to wait for the government to build them toilets, but to do it themselves.

Councillors like her are unaware of the fact that the ordinary poor black Namibians are burned up due to the daily struggle for survival. With what money and time should poor people build toilets ? Providing sanitation for the people is the government’s responsibility. That is what people pay taxes for.

A large majority of Namibians have given up, and no longer believe in a government that has since independence failed to look after them.

We will never gain control over our country until we realise and recognise that the ruling elite do not deserve to rule this country any more. That is the first step towards Namibia’s self-improvement.

Since it has been ineffective at running the country’s affairs and has not served the needs of the ordinary poor black majority, the time has come for Namibians to move forward with establishing an alternative government based on socio-economic equality, and which serves the needs of the people, and not just a select few.

• Rinaani Musutua is a community activist and trustee of the Economic and Social Justice Trust. She holds an MA in international public relations from the University of Cardiff (UK).

Source from https://www.namibian.com.na