The year 2018 has reached its evening; it was as fast as the golden queen of the tracks, Hilaria Johannes.
With only two weeks left for this year, let us glorify the name of our good Lord and praise His name, for He protected us.
It is time for us to reflect and conduct self-introspection in order to plan properly for tomorrow’s year, 2019.
I want to do the post-mortem of 2018 in a collective aptitude test. The year 2018 was of good and bad – a year of ups and downs. Frankly, the bad superseded the good during the year under review.
The positives that I can compute are the democratic climate we are generally enjoying in this country. It is because of this that one can express their opinion without subdue or retributions.
We have made strides in some developmental projects such as road networks and school facilities development. We have also done well in sports – especially the Brave Warriors, Hilaria Johannes who won gold, and Harry Simon Sr and Harry Simon Jr who floored their opponents just recently.
On the bad side of things, this year has seen a fatal political experiment of “reckoning” of fellow comrades. The year has witnessed the most severe economic down-sloping, road fatalities, passion killings, poaching of rhinos, sale of our strategic resources, deforestation, massive retrenchments, unnecessary skirmishes at the Namibia Football Association (NFA), hunger, drought and - most severely - corruption.
While those are true events, we must always remember that where there is a will, there is a way. All is not gone beyond the “threshold of potential concerns”. The power to save the turbulent ship lies within ourselves.
But for that to happen, we need to be patriotic, ready to sacrifice our personal interests.
The reckoning of targeted individuals is something that needs to be condemned, as it brings no solutions to many problems we are facing in this country. I advise our leadership not to do this again, especially when they allow emotions to cloud their judgement.
As we enter the festive season, I would like us to dedicate most of our time to think about how we can save our economy from a complete collapse. What is it that we can do to save our country?
We have a lot of options, but from where I stand, agriculture is our Alpha and Omega. Our government should therefore use the loan money to fund large scale agricultural projects. We need to invest in water sources by making sure that we have access to the Okongo Aquifer water, and that of the sea by buying the Areva desalination plant.
I am personally against the plan to partner with Botswana in water infrastructure development at the coast; instead, Botswana can become our client. Why can’t we use the model that South Africa uses in the power sector? Namibia buys electricity from South Africa, but it is not a partner in developing the power sources.
When we have water, the government can then ensure that every village in our country has a large agricultural project, and agricultural scientists and financial managers can be allocated to run these projects.
We must also consider the affordability of old-age and other grants, as well as the free education scheme.
On the road accidents, I suggest that we use the Karibib-Okahandja road as a case study. Accidents occurred regularly on this road, but things changed after it was upgraded to dual lanes.
On passion killing, the community, church, and government needs to be involved in finding an end to these barbaric killings.
A study by social scientists needs to be commissioned to unpack and understand the root causes of the ferocious killings of women by some men. There are some women who barbarically kill their children too – something the study must also look at.
Namibia is blessed with rich natural resources that we are not adequately exploring to develop our country. It is heart-breaking to always read about biggest trees being cut down in the Ohangwena, the Okavango regions, and Zambezi – and the poaching of rare rhinoceros.
I thank the Namibian government, through the Ministry of Environment and Tourism (MET), for its efforts in protecting our resources. The cutting of trees, and ferrying of timber to China was halted by the minister of environment - a big applause to him!
On the poaching syndicate, one thing I can propose is to explore the possibility of harvesting the horns, so that the animals do not always have horns. Protection by police and game guards also needs to continue. In the same breath, let me also suggest that Namibia legalises Epangelo mining, as a government entity, to have a certain percentage in all transactions of our strategic mineral resources. We don’t need to pussyfoot around these issues. Radical change is needed now – as far as national beneficiation is concerned. Namibia has always experienced corruption, but the scourge is currently at its highest.
Some of those entrusted with our resources are enriching themselves at the expense of the masses of our country. It is my wish that all those who are abusing public offices are locked up and their properties forfeited to the state.
*Sioni Iikela writes from Alusati Pandulo at Onaanda hEengulu.
2018-12-14 11:37:30 9 months ago