The recent Presidential and Parliamentary elections in Namibia, though given a clean bill of health, as they were bereft of violence, no-go areas, harassment and even disruption of political rallies during the election campaign period, sadly witnessed the spectre of social media being hijacked for malicious purposes by social media users.
Namibians should enjoy all the economic and social dividends of social media, such as engaging in health political and social debate on issues affecting them, for instance the lack of proper houses that has led to the proliferation of shacks, and on socio-economic issues such as the high unemployment rate, particularly among the youth.
They are free to interact in robust debate with their political leaders, with religious leaders, community leaders and even their village headmen on issues of the day – and they will be heard. This should be done without being disrespectful or spiteful because these are their servants elected or chosen to be at their beck and call.
But the recent social media postings maligning our president Hage Geingob should be roundly condemned because the president deserves respect for his status as leader of all Namibians, including those who did not vote for him. After all, Geingob evangelised peace throughout the campaign period. Lest we forget Geingob had reiterated time and again the electorate are only engaged in a contestation of political ideas and that peace should reign supreme – which is a rarity in Africa, where many cases of the incumbency harassing those in the opposition are commonplace and often results in persecution, bloodshed and untold misery.
Social media should not be used for malicious purposes; it should not be used to insult ruling or opposition leaders. It should not be used to demean fellow citizens, as this could have consequences that are too dire to fathom. We should learn to agree to disagree – even politically – without having to resort to insults because this is very unAfrican. Africans put a premium on respecting elders, who are the fountain of wisdom; those who respect the elderly pave their own road toward success. Respect is one of the core Christian values to which most believers and civilised, as well as educated and uneducated Namibians should value because everyone is special and their social, economic and political opinion should matter.
On a different note, the people elected to lead this country should, as a matter of urgency, address the issue of high youth unemployment and the resultant high levels of poverty because we, the electorate, deserve better. There is no place for the so-called deadwood in Parliament because 2020 onwards should be years of deliverance, setting free those wallowing in poverty; these should be the time to fulfil the country’s economic agenda. The electorate deserve the best, and those who can not deliver should make way for the youth to play their part to propel this country to prosperity.
We should remind ourselves as we go on holiday that Namibia has a high poverty rate – it has a million unfulfilled promises; people need jobs and decent shelter.
And social media should not be hijacked for malicious purposes.
2019-12-06 08:15:41 | 6 months ago