Opinion – Independent candidates and service delivery on promises

Home Focus Opinion – Independent candidates and service delivery on promises

There is an idiomatic expression which runs across the linguistic spectrum of many Africans, that one finger alone cannot crush or pick a louse meaning one person alone cannot do everything as teamwork is necessary to alleviate the workload. 
However, many independent candidates in this year’s local authority and regional councils’ elections are defying this reality. Yes, they have their followers but at the apex of their political structures, they should have worked together within a political party setup. However, in the final analysis, it is their democratic right to choose the independent candidate route.

The question lingering in many voters’ minds is whether these independent candidates will deliver on their political campaigns’ promises. Unfortunately, this state of political situation has been abused and distorted by many people and seasoned politicians alike. The opponents to independent candidature contend that the independent candidates will not have access to the budget meant to implement the projects in their constituencies and local authorities as they are not members of the power that be.  

Some people think that for one to deliver and bring development home, one must be a member of the ruling party. But the reality is that we have had councillors from the ruling party who have dismally failed the electorate. Many politicians have been using the national purse to intimidate the masses and regard the taxpayers’ monies as if it comes from their own pockets. They capitalise on the ignorance of the electorate and say nasty things about the masses if the latter fail to vote for them. 

Some politicians taunt the electorate if they vote for the independent candidate and challenge them if their aspirations and national needs could be realized. But each constituency is allotted a certain amount of money for development. National development is the government of the day’s obligation and should see to it that projects are carried out and completed as per stipulated budget. Whether the councillor is independent or from the opposition, it is imperative for the government of the day to release the funds for national development.  Ministers and councillor who deny the electorate national development on suspicion that they did not vote for them are violating the constitutional provision which requires that all Namibians be treated fairly and equally before the law.  

Instead of delivering on their campaign promises, many politicians end up attacking their opponents personally instead of assuring the electorate what they intend doing for them. 
How can one explain a situation where a politician mocks another political colleague from the opposition of being physically challenged, when the same politician has a wife, a son and a mother who are all crippled? Being physically challenged is not anybody’s wish but sometimes comes naturally, in which case the victim has no control over the illness.

The culprits in this political mess are leaders of political parties and their top brass as they fail to instil a sense of discipline in their followers. 
Many leaders are known for inciting their followers to provoke the other political opponents just to sow seeds of political and social discord. In the long run, this type of politicking has cost Africa a lot, leaving deaths in its wake. Politicians at all levels should realise that at the end of the political kaleidoscope, Namibians’ welfare should come first. 
There is no need for campaigns to be provocative and violent. Independent candidates who are capable of assisting the masses should be accorded the support they need. Candidates who cannot deliver despite having national resources and connections at their disposal should not be pampered.