Democracy was the most successful political idea of the 20th century. What should be done to revive it?
The protesters that overturned the politics of Ukraine had many aspirations for their country. Their placards called for closer ties with the European Union (EU), an end to Russian intervention in Ukraine’s politics and the establishment of a clean government to replace the kleptocracy of President Victor Yanukovych. But their fundamental demand was one that motivated people over many decades to take a stand against the corrupt, abusive and autocratic government.
They wanted a rules-based democracy and it is easy to understand why. Democracies are on average richer than non-democracies, are less likely to go to war and are good at fighting corruption.
More fundamentally, democracy lets people speak their minds openly and shape their own and their children’s future. That so many people in so many different parts of the country are prepared to risk so much for this idea is testimony to its enduring appeal.
The rule of law is not only the enforcement of legal norms. Rather, it connotes the principles of the supremacy of law, and entails at least the capacity, even if limited, to make authorities respect the laws, and to have laws that are not retroactive, and are available to the public, universal, stable and unambiguous. Characters are fundamental for any civil order and constitute a primary requirement for democratic consolidation and along with other basic qualities such as civilian control.
With regard to the rule of law and its enforcement I can identify a number of key features for a good democracy that should be done and equally should be seen to be done.
The equal enforcement of law towards everyone, including all state officials, that is to say, all individuals are equal before the law and that no one is above the law, also at supranational level.
The supremacy of the legal state, meaning no areas are dominated by organised crime, even at local level. No corruption in the political, administration and judicial branches. The existence of a local, centralized civil bureaucracy that competently, efficiently and universally applies the laws and assumes responsibility in the event of an error. The existence of an efficient police force that respects the individual rights and the freedoms guaranteed by law. Equally, unhindered access of lawsuits between private citizens or between private and public figures. While the citizens of a democracy choose their leaders and representatives through elections, the rule of law defines the relationship between representatives and citizens between elections. Most simply put, it means laws apply or rather should apply equally to everyone.
Laws should be created through a predetermined, open, and transparent process, and not by the whim of the most powerful members of the society.
Current reality in Sibbinda
Political landscape: Since 2012, there has been significant political changes and development in Sibbinda. The constitution has marked the beginning of the journey to a new era in the country’s governance. Therefore, the constitution places the sovereignty of the country in the hands of the people instead of the few political elites. The constitution has created two-tier level of government, central government and regional government with the aim of sharing resources equitably fair for the benefit of the Namibian population. As a result of this time of transitioning from the old way of doing things to the new order, one can position Sibbinda at the crossroads for most of the political elites would love to maintain the status quo of putting the new wine in old wineskins.
This is the delicate position to be put when the time for change has to come, there is an urgent need to embrace change for the better of Sibbinda as a constituency.
Economic context: Vision 2030 is supposed to have transformed into a newly fast forward approach in enhancing development to provide a high quality of life to all its citizens. This desire can only be realised if the foundations of the following pillars, economic, social and political are firm and unshaken by the vice of corruption, hegemony and tribalism.
Therefore, the whole issues seek urgent response towards the distribution of all the regional council projects that were earmarked for the Sibbinda constituency e.g farming inputs and implements, small stock agricultural livestock, water installations and allocations, the criterion used to allocate boreholes, fairness complied with during allocation, resolutions taken in qualifying the beneficiaries, geographical settlements of the beneficiaries, priorities to the beneficiaries who applied.
We seek clarity from the regional governor, the chairperson of the regional council, the Chief Regional Officer and the constituency councillor for Sibbinda constituency in the Zambezi region, and above all progress report of all the projects under review for the last five years in all Zambezi constituencies for evaluation and assessment by the electorates before the regional and local elections in November. The economic pillar should aim at improving the prosperity of all the Namibian through an economic development/stimulus program, covering all the regions of Namibia and aiming at achieving an average gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate.
Social pillars, on the other hand should seek to build a just fair, and cohesive society with social equity in a clean and secure environment.
An advice to the regional leadership of Zambezi is they should know that political pillars aim at realising a democratic political system that is founded on issue-based politics that respect the rule of law, protects the rights and freedoms of the people of Namibia regardless of their economic status, political affiliations, disabilities or any other forms of their social status.
Sibbinda inequality is what puzzles me a lot and more so as I intend contesting into the political leadership 2020. No constituency is an island, globalisation creates space and platform for the country and constituencies to share the best practices in public services in the context of democracy and fairness with regard to distribution of government resources. However rendering services to the public in a transparent and accountable manner can be accelerated when leadership is willing to share resources equitably, a situation we seek to see in the Zambezi Region.
Appreciating the scarcity of resources, C.M. Fischer…observed, “one important thing people working in the public services have to do is to decide how scarce resources should be allocated between competing demands.” Good leaders in this regard decide who should receive which services and how they should be provided. Are the beneficiaries related to the leaders deciding the applicants, how close the beneficiaries are, distance, how fair or logically have the applicants’ list been scrutinised?
In the case of Sibbinda we cannot shy away from the reality that the demarcation is so diverse, therefore a serious consideration when allocating is a pre-requisite for consideration. How do you allocate one resource to an applicant stretching from Mpacha up until Sibbinda? Is it an oversight or deliberate move to test the anger of the masses residing on that stretch of land? Whereas, four resources are allocated to a stretch from Makolonga to Linyanti the other side of Sibbinda constituency. Is it logical or are you taking the electorate for a ride?
No free man shall be taken, imprisoned, outlawed or banished except by the lawful judgment of the law of the land. Choose right in November and the chance is democracy will be given to you again.