FLIPSIDE —- Chris Jacobie
THE President, Dr Hage Geingob, declared 2019 as the year of accountability.
If there is anyone misunderstanding accountability as a Geingob threat against elected political officials, they are politically mischievous and deliberate and not able to understand elective democracy the way the Constitutional protector does.
He could have just as well announced the beginning of the end of a suffocating culture since 2012 where nearly everything is turned into politics for some factional or personal gain keeping progress hostage.
It is now up to ordinary Namibian voters to decide at the ballot box like they did dutifully the past 30-years, because their Constitutional responsibility held them to account in wind rain and sunshine. They turned up without fail and no sacrifice was to great, neither distance nor long queues and hours in lines.
Lest Namibia forget. It is the 1989 elections that produced the finest representatives of all walks of political life and society life that wrote and adopted a constitution — setting the roadmap for regular elections, or otherwise a chance for the citizens to have a direct influence on their destiny.
So far Namibians have come out on the side of right, peace and multiparty democracy. One of the great achievements of democracy and the constitution is that leaders of the same party that differ with each other. Those that see differences as a break-up do not recognise the strength of comradeship where leaders will solve their differences, because they understand and appreciate the various contributions to liberation.
The fires of division cannot be stoked against comrades of more than 50-years, they have stuck together and because of loyalty and patriotism will always rally in the face of division. The past Congress and previous election results with the very best to divide demonstrated the reality that is often ignored by political science.
The facts of Namibia is not political science, but reality. Most political analysts, if asked, will admit that they do not analyse politics, but rather rely on political statements that are reproduced by media platforms and whose influence varies from a few friends on WHATSAPP groups to a dozen self-appointed intellectuals on more sophisticated platforms that engage in a showdown of vocabulary which is oblivious of reality. There they conclude from what they consume and not from what they experience, but definitely not from the voters of everyday life who are the life-blood of Namibian democracy and will for a long time remain so.
Long before the election campaigns begin, the competition for candidate lists of parties for Presidential, the National Assembly, National Council and Regional- and Town Councils will be mini-elections and a few facts cannot be ignored.
The competition for a place on the parliamentary list in some opposition parties will lead to serious splits that can extinguish the legitimacy of more than one party and some might even disappear from the parliamentary political scene as they are already under threat through internal division and cannot shake the grip of an ethnic stranglehold. They too will be held to account by their voters.
In Swapo, the President’s message should send a shiver of fear through the political hitchhikers who caught a ride with the party and will be too great a risk to have on any representative body as it might dissuade communities to vote for the party.
Accountability makes it difficult for parties to take a risk with candidates that are imposed as illustrated by the open dissent in Grootfontein, Rundu and Okahandja where dissatisfaction and factional interest is affecting the whole region. Accountability will rectify wrong perceptions.
Opposition parties will have to look reality in the eye and will also find alternatives, because Namibians are nearing the end of a political development where opposition meant: against.
They are looking more and more towards an opposition that offers an alternative.
What Namibians will appreciate from the political scientists and analysts is an opinion on faction forming and the ethnic isolation that beats down peace, unity and stability and gives false hope of an economic Eldorado which will trump the tried and tested acclaimed constitution of the past 30-years.
Namibia unbelievably now can boast a better international democracy tradition in thirty years than the once acclaimed flag bearer of freedom and opportunity, the United States of America of more than 200-years.
Democratic leaders create responsible democratic citizens.
There is no doubt that Geingob-accountability will be the beginning of the end of slander politics, gossip democracy and false hope.
Namibia is getting exceedingly tired and rebels against the idea that a single Namibian and his family and friends who have maybe sacrificed more than any other political leader at the hands of his opposition and friends, must remain the target of every political botsotso in a relentless assault of assassination and political backstabbing.
The problem is that 87% of Namibians who voted for President Geingob and 75% of Swapo delegates who voted for him at a congress are portrayed as stupid fools who voted for a President and his appointees and are so illiterate that they don’t know what they are doing.
Namibians will take accountability for supporting the legacy of the Father of the Nation, Dr. Sam Nujoma, his successor, Dr Hifikepunye Pohamba, and the most tested democrat by his party and by the nation since Independence, President Geingob.
Accountability will cut both ways and the self-styled analysts and political scientists will see that their vote weighs the same as the hand on the plough and those that seeks to divide will see the power of unity amongst lifelong comrades.
They won’t split, they might disagree like friends must do, but always unite in the interest of their party and their country. Because they are accountable to their legacy and the sacrifices of comrades.
That is democracy and both citizen and king will account, but only in different ways.