FLIPSIDE — By Chris Jacobie
THE 31st Independence celebration is equally a challenge and a celebration like never before since 21 March 1990.
Namibians must assist with improved service delivery, not by undermining accountability, but by individually improving service delivery to each other.
It is impossible to celebrate Independence without recognizing the courage of generations of Namibians who over centuries tamed the wild, infighting, stared down calamity, overcame adversity, and in the end were on a quest for recognition and dignity.
The world acknowledged and Namibians responded in 1989.
Therefore the 31st Independence Celebrations – with a leadership legacy of the Founding Father, Sam Nujoma, who still is awarded by nations of the world, President Lukas Pohamba and the Founding Chairman of the Constitution and Third President, Dr. Hage Geingob, who overcame and whether it is recognized or not, are all three a product of each other.
The legacy is the foundation of a national willingness to move forward and adjust the sails while other nations wait in the harbour or while citizens run for their lives.
The adventure of the journey towards dignity will be never-ending because perfection kills ambition.
The past two years would have broken the back of many communities elsewhere in the world. Facing a world economic recession, a regional turmoil, a relentless factionalism assault of self-interest against the common good, a persistent drought, pestilence, and a worldwide pandemic, Namibian citizens displayed victory in itself and a testament to good leadership.
The foundations of the house felt a tremor but it is solid.
The civic courage of Namibians must neither be ignored nor underestimated because the call to the dignity of every Namibian is the soul of nationhood. Nothing else can happen without acknowledging the dignity of every Namibian.
The true courage of every citizen and representative – of the rich or poor, the healthy or the sick – is to be ready to sacrifice self-interest and a false sense of comfort, where every citizen is the first amongst equals and where honour is deserved and not demanded.
The political smoke and mirrors and the political abuse of corruption cannot hide the truth that the fight against any form of corruption must be the duty of all citizens. It is not a political stick, but a national duty towards improved service delivery.
Corruption and complacency prevent Namibians to collectively be the best they can be under any circumstance. It undermines the values of the nation and robs all – not only the poor, but the rich and the talented as well – of opportunities. Namibians move freely over the globe and are not fugitives from their own regime.
The first six words of the Preamble of the Namibian Constitution contain the recognition of dignity as indispensable to justice and equality. It was true 31 years ago and it is true today and will even be truer tomorrow.
Dignity is not something anybody can demand. It is a gift that all Namibians give to fellow citizens. From there follows understanding and conversation to create the democracy that Namibia deserves and the service they are entitled to.
The budget with all its constraints and the Harambee Prosperity Plan of Dr Geingob is not an answer and magic wand to prosperity.
It is a call to the conscience and inner voice of every Namibian to respect before they expect.
Namibians can celebrate their 31st Independence with the assurance that Dr. Geingob and the Namibian nation possess the courage to act so that the individual counts only as one amongst many.
The journey to recovery is like any other and it starts with putting one foot in front of the other. Namibians have proven over the years that they deserve independence, freedom, and dignity and that no matter how long the journey and how many challenges the journey might throw at them, they will reach their destiny.
Pulling together in the same direction is a test of dignity and will keep the nation free.