FLIPSIDE — By Chris Jacobie
THE ability of the usual who “always-know-all-about-all” and unfortunately empowered by technology beyond their competency, is presenting a world that bears no resemblance to everyday Namibians and is grossly overestimated.
Most unfortunate is that there are some Namibians and political groupings that forget that the majority of Namibians are the most election-fit-nation on the face of the earth starting with the 1978 elections that – although not recognized – brought 90% of the voters to the polls for the first time.
Noteworthy is to remember that in 1978 a sway of the population still signed their papers with a cross due to illiteracy. Today it will be nearly impossible to find a Namibian who cannot write his own name while many are multi-lingual.
The past 30-years since independence have proven that Namibians should continue to trust their judgement, because common sense served them well.
They rightly should take credit for a healthy democracy, civil stability, and a greater unity in purpose than is experienced elsewhere in the region or the African continent.
The Swapo of today and on the eve of the local and regional authority election is a product of thirty years of democracy that exists nowhere else in the Southern African region. It went through turmoil, factionalism, and breakaways, but it did not derail nation-building.
There is hardly anybody that can argue sensibly against the fact that of all the liberation movements of any country in the so-called frontline states, Swapo is by far the most successful and the most inclusive.
Even the ANC is hesitant to give the movement the credit it deserves.
There is also hardly anybody that can argue that Swapo did not take a few huge body blows due to corruption, incompetence, and factionalism. Most political parties would have been knocked out and would not have survived the setbacks of the Ben Ulenga-, Hidipo Hamutenya breakaways, the Fishrot scandal, and the relentless exposure of corruption and continuous factionalism of personalities.
But the remedy is not to divide Namibia into tribal fiefdoms and change, just because someone wants change.
The fact is that the Namibian Constitution is being prostituted for self-interest, but at the same time abused to hide behind stems from the Swapo Constitution after no less than a political giant, the late Dirk Mudge, proposed that the Swapo Constitution is used as the foundation for the Constitutional negotiations that led to independence.
It took another great mind and internationally respected enemy of Mudge, the late Theo-Ben Gurirab to propose that the 1982-principles which mainly guaranteed minority rights, to put Namibia on the path of a constitutional democracy that is the pride of a free world.
To pretend that democracy is in crisis is irresponsible, ignorant and a step backward.
There are remedies to restore the image of Namibia and a scattergun approach is contra-productive and might fatally wound the just and the fair.
The President, Dr. Hage Geingob, is right when he promotes transparency, because corruption doesn’t grow in the light, but flourishes in the dark. This demand for transparency must be the only guidance for individuals and organisations to get involved in organizing and holding elections.
Of course, after Fishrot, there should be an openness of funding of all parties and contestants, as well as the media which so dearly want to be the voice of the people but should be the suppliers of facts.
Most importantly, it should be noted that most corruption and abuse of power could have been prevented by strong inter-party discipline.
It is just mischievous to attempt to convince any Namibian that only some parties or some leaders are corrupt.
Swapo should emulate its success in forming the Namibian Nation, by enforcing strict discipline and vetting processes to ensure that voters get what they deserve.
Every Namibian regardless of his vote deserves the best possible government.
In spite of all the smoke and mirrors, Swapo with its representation at every tree, bush, and dune is still better equipped to form a representative government with strong values and a deep sense of service to the nation.
The type of factionalism, bordering on racism and tribalism, is an embarrassment that any Namibian should not tolerate.
Trust, pride, and loyalty is scarce and therefore precious.