John Ekongo TIMES are hard and tougher times lie ahead, so warns economists. You see I have always had problems with the likes of Tom Alweendo, Martin Mwinga and Steve Motinga saying that we must prepare ourselves for the worst. Is there ever any worst in this country, apart from the floods? My problem lies in the fact that times are apparently getting worse. My problem has always been, while we are being told to brace ourselves for the worst some gentlemen and ladies are driving fuel-guzzling engines with tank capacities of 100 litres. Is it only me who is feeling the pinch of this increase? Nice shiny black, ministerial tinted windows, 18 inches of mag rims and a full swimming pool. Yes, apparently Namibia is a dry country. On the other hand me, Petronella, Wezi and Anna always pray for solace for our feet to carry us home one more time. Forget about Kuvee, he recently got empowered. Paradox of the irony is you get to go to a press conference where the experts speak about inflation and the cost of living that is too high for some Namibians. For that short moment, we are one. Shortly after the meeting is over, the expert gets into his Range Rover; well I look at my feet and say "kom owa tegelela shike aano lya ke-koondo, broser." How come inflation does not seem to be hitting them? I for one, my takkies have developed this undesirable odour, simply because I feet them so much. It is easy to advise, when you are not feeling the pinch. Therefore, the only advice that I am really looking forward to now is the one that says, "eat or take now, pay later". But first, I just want to inform you readers that I have drafted a petition that advocates for the closure of the energy department in the Ministry of Mines and Energy. I do not know why it was not reshuffled as well. But then again, it is not my prerogative. To get back to the petition, I suggested that the ministry be known only as the Ministry of Mines, we can drop the energy part, which only does two things - granting mining licences and increasing fuel prices. Hopefully, if the fuel increase function is taken away, then there won't be any fuel increases (better still drop energy function, drop fuel prices.) All right back to "eat now, pay later". My granny raised me to always honour a debt no matter how tough and although I never took it to my medulla oblongata, it seems viable. The truth is "eat or take now, pay later" has become the normal way of life. It is not funny anymore. Even for something as trivial as biltong. Being a meat-eating country that Namibia is, I see now biltong is also sold on credit - eat now and pay month-end. No kidding. Even bubblegum is sold on an "eat now pay later" basis. I am told ladies of the night have also taken up the same initiative. Don't think it will be that simple you must first leave your ID behind. My people, especially our girls, can compete fairly on the international fashion arena. Elegant as they look, smartly dressed as their male partners look, it is because of take now, pay later. Even Anna, practises "do my hair now, pay later" for her usually expensive hair-dos. We eat, drink, dress, shebeen because of the eat now, pay later policy, even the bed we sleep on. I suggest the following foolish but workable solutions. Salaries must be paid by the policy of pay now, work later. The bosses need not to worry that we won't deliver. I can assure them we will definitely put in more work if they pay us first. Press conferences about economic conditions and price increases should be conducted at the settlements of Goreangab and Greenwell. I am sure the people down there will understand. Thirdly, I am still serious about the closure of the Ministry of Mines and Energy. It is killing us. Lastly, since our salaries are hardly enough to last the entire month, I suggest that we reschedule the working week to make it shorter to save more on taxi fares. You also work less, you worry less, you do not get caught in the "eat or take now pay later" syndrome. On a serious note, the constant increase in basic commodity prices is denting our already outstretched budgets. Something drastic needs to be done to curb this runaway lifestyle. It is hard being an unemployed man on the street; Namibia is being hard on its kin. Sorry Ngo.
2008-04-11 00:00:00 10 years ago