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Chris Jacobie — Flipside

NAMIBIANS are standing tall, and the country is as united as it possibly can be, forged from 34 years of mutual, and even blind, trust.

At the same time, the erosion of trust and confidence due to bad and unresponsive governance and service delivery is the biggest threat to stability and unity, which is admired even beyond borders.
It is not to be taken for granted. While political parties prepare for elections, they should pay serious attention to a public that needs to see some response to their smallest needs and expectations.

The “Southwesters” of all ethnic, social, and political persuasions, who did not want to take a chance with fellow Namibians of all political persuasions, left in droves with enemies in 1989.
Understandably, it was a hard decision for some to cut South African family, language, academic, and business ties and to trust Swapo, a once mortal political and military enemy.
The “Southwesters” who remained had to go with faith and became unified Namibians. Today, with their children and grandchildren, they form a part of the foundation of the Namibian House of Stability and International Hospitality.

Namibians in the diaspora, whether in England, Canada, Russia, Britain, or the USA, are still Namibians. They should be encouraged to return or contribute additional skills from where they are or from home to make Namibia the best place on the planet to live.

Namibian unity is not only about living in a beautiful, relatively peaceful country, but also about showing solidarity and support to fellow Namibians as members of the police, defense force, and celebrating important national events together.
Namibians cannot be blamed if they feel that the unity amongst everyday citizens is abused by politicians who run out of ideas and want to rule by imagined disunity. They should be disgusted with politicians who constantly ask for unity where there is no division.
In fact, it is Namibian unity that allows for councilors and parliamentarians to insult and incite each other in language that is not even heard in the streets and bars of the country.

If there is division, it is amongst the leadership of the different factions of their parties who cannot accept democratic outcomes from their followers. Namibians must believe in themselves when the whole world cannot praise them enough for a smooth transition after the death of the Namibian President and international icon, Dr. Hage Geingob.
It is hardly surprising that Namibia had a smooth transition from the Nujoma presidency to the Pohamba presidency, to the Geingob presidency, and now the Mbuma presidency. Political leaders should not get overconfident in unity but must know that it can also collapse. If trust is continuously undermined by broken promises to the everyday people who do not ask for too much, it cannot stand alone.

Namibian unity is rooted in trust gained and earned over a long time and a shared history — mostly by the citizens’ own making — but born from relentless division, strife, and conflict. Today, very few politicians can wear the badge of courage that unifiers have earned over the past 34 years by standing up for the underdogs in political and tribal fights.
Many more politicians have over the years instigated division to protect their own self-interest and will continue to do so, but as Namibians have proven over the years, they will be relegated to the dustbin of history’s political failures. The deregistration of various political parties bears testimony.

For as long as the soles of Namibian feet beat a steady rhythm towards the future and job-seekers still walk the streets, jump into taxis, stop at roadsides, and search for any opportunity, peace will prevail, and improvement of livelihood will be a hope.

Trust is the bond that ties Namibia together, and being the envy of the world, this small nation will always shine a light of peace into the darkest corners of the world.
A responsible and responsive political and government leadership that hears and acts on the cries of the people will also give hope to other communities elsewhere that their lives can be improved.

In Namibia, trust is most important, but responsible and responsive leadership should be sacred. Peace cannot sustain itself.
Namibians must be allowed and assisted to pursue happiness because they have never asked too much for the peace, stability, and democracy they consistently delivered over the years.
The citizens of Namibia are indeed honourable and should be treated with humility by those who have the power to do better.

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