FLIPSIDE — Chris Jacobie
THERE is great truth and value in the expectation and tradition that “all must think twice.”
Unfortunately, the value of thinking twice is undermined by the development of communication which renders thinking before speaking useless, because fingers on keyboards are quicker than the tongue and anonymity requires no accountability nor responsibility.
Just as some of the great technological inventions, the ill-inclined always find a way to turn it against those whom it should have benefitted and eventually commit suicide by an overdose of ego.
The pain Namibians experience is mostly self-inflicted and could in part be avoided.
A grave mistake and one that should be immediately rectified is the self-inflicted paralysis of Namibia between December-elections at the end of every five years and the swearing-in of a new government with the new term of office starting on Independence Day on 21 March, since 1990.
It is intolerable, irresponsible and holds the population hostage by political insecurity and an exposure to leadership immaturity where nobody dares and nobody is obliged to care.
If the various political leaders, interest groups and activists are to be believed, politics in Namibia is everything. The reverse is true. It is clear that the problem with Namibian politics are the politicians themselves.
It is annoying to know that most, if not all the challenges that Namibia faces, are rooted in the politicizing of every little corner of the national household. The three months between elections and new government, ignite political fights for survival that Namibia can ill afford, because it is also the three months that Namibians have more important things than politics to worry about.
This year even more so and Namibians want to go on with their lives. They still look for places in school, seek employment and, depending on climate, either deal with the devastation of floods or drought.
Corruption is as much a product of politics as it is the result of dishonesty and greed. Politics created the opportunities and politics hide the remedies. That is the double edged sword wounding and hurting Namibian society.
It also gives rise to another truth: If a lie is repeated all the time it becomes a fact, but in Namibia, like the rest of free societies in the world, it is also true that not all the people can be fooled all the time.
The idea that is being created by populists, activists and self-styled revolutionaries through vocabulary of insult is that Namibia requires a constant pressing of alarm buttons, because citizens are too ignorant to realize that they are being cheated, robbed and hypnotized. That in itself is an insult to everyday Namibians.
This sorry state of affairs of a country and a nation that needs every citizen to break the shackles of stagnation and take a step forward out of desperate challenges like the drought, recession, floods and many more challenges creates a thick-skinned society, because they are being led likes lambs to the slaughter by equally thick-skinned political opportunists in and outside of government only to be dined upon after elections.
The truth is that there are more important things in the lives of most if not all Namibians than the all-consuming and all important politicians and politics.
The myth that Namibians are angry needs to be busted, because it only raises the volume of the noise of only a few who would benefit from an angry nation and eventual anarchy.
The truth is that not Namibians, but Swapo leaders, are angry with each other.
These are the very same leaders, who as revolutionaries in their fiery youth and with AK-47’s over their shoulders, could convince the world of a ceasefire, free and fair UN-supervised elections, negotiate a constitution of freedom and justice and build on the blood-soaked foundations of the rule of law and regular democratic elections without letting their anger stand in the way of progress and the right of the rest of the population to pursue happiness and attempt to improve their lives for the better.
Namibians are not objecting to each other or each other’s liberties and choices. They object to factional party politics preventing councillors to take up their seats, preventing others to be nominated and in itself undermine public participation in government which in turn prevents any policy to be successfully implemented.
Namibians are now confronted by a new challenge before the nation can purposefully move forward.
The lingering unhappiness and factional differences will be best managed by negotiating and reconciling differences and reminding each other of tolerance as the root of dignity.
Namibian democracy is a unique achievement in citizenship and the oldest Namibian to be born free in the land of the brave is only thirty years old, have never heard a shot fired in anger and have immense potential and opportunity ahead of them.
Not everything is politics. Everything is principle and that is the hardest.
Namibians have a right to vote, but they also have a right to good government.
Independence is a reminder that current and future generations must continuously pursue the principles of freedom of justice and strengthen its institutions for governments to be as good as they can be under any circumstance.
That is the freedom worth celebrating.