We are now celebrating 31 years of our independence.
However, all of us, as Namibians, should never forget that the independence we are celebrating was indeed achieved through terrible difficulties and at times, unpredictable struggle.
Many people lost their lives during the protracted liberation struggle against the diabolic and barbaric colonial rule of our country. Now that we are free and independent, it is up to us all to always be prepared to forecast and bring about a progressive and effective developmental future for our motherland as patriots of this land. Sometimes people make history, but they get into difficulties to achieve what they intend to due to circumstances beyond their control. However, if we are united and seriously determined to develop our country successfully, we will overcome and be victorious.
Let us not be driven by unnecessary political scruples, but let us have the ability to creatively think about the effective development of our country. Be that as it may, we have only this one country and our citizens need services and peaceful behaviour from all our political leaders no matter which political party they belong to. If a person is a politician, the first and most important thing such an individual should do is promote the well-being of the entire nation, build and safeguard proper economic structures for the country and all its inhabitants.
For example, the members of parliament should instead of always fighting among each other, use their time in that august House to map out the country’s developmental policies and the implementation thereof. We the Namibian people had visualised a country in which colonial oppression never again ruled us, a country we govern ourselves, where the land and its resources sustained the people of the land. We visualised a country and a society where peace and stability would prevail. However, pardon me for feeling that our great country is degenerating into a country losing its moral qualities. Recently, the desired moral qualities shown in the august House over the years, show evidence of decline, and that is troublesome. My sense of anxiety and unease is also informed by fears that if this behaviour persists, our vision for peace and stability will be negatively affected.
Our country is, indeed, a beacon of democracy and free speech but some of our countrymen should not recklessly abuse the prevailing freedom of thought and speech by insulting and behaving violently toward others. Unfortunately, even the President of the country is subjected to these unbecoming behaviours.
We have to accept the fact that the colonial regime in our country was wiped out and we have democratically established governmental bodies which are expected to advance a national unity which will enable us to drive the country towards progressive development and contribute to maintenance of peace, democracy and socio-economic progress. For this purpose, all our political parties must first and foremost be matured and fully concerned with the developmental issues which will be in the best interest of thousands of our people. Unfortunately, what seems to be happening now is unwarranted political struggle among politicians, particularly in parliament.
Our country still possesses enormous political and economic potential in terms of economic resources and the development of these resources for the interest of our people. These resources should be what concerns political parties instead of wasting time on political infighting. All of us, irrespective of our political affiliations, must focus on agricultural development, mining, aquatic cultivation, industrial production, infrastructure development, etc.
In fact, agriculture is the foundation of the national economy. However, it suffered because of factors such as drought, the inability of many farmers to pay back their loans, the difficulties which affirmative loan farmers are faced with to maintain farm infrastructure and the imposition of heavy land tax on struggle farmers.
These newcomer farmers have no proper incentives and financial support, therefore this resulted in some farmers abandoning their farms and returning to so-called native reserves. We need agricultural reform. The only solution to these problems must be to take the concern of suffering and struggling farmers seriously and find ways to meet their material and economic interests halfway. This surely is a complex issue which deserves serious consideration.
Another very essential issue is to rapidly develop reproductive forces, improve technological capacity in industry to shape a modern economy. Industrialisation and modernisation of the country are of vital importance.
Finally, I wish to say that the main driving force for developing our country lies in total unity of all people, no matter their political affiliations, so that we may have common and harmonious socio-economic interests which will enable us to bring into play the everlasting well-being of our people.
I wish all Namibians a successful and blessed 31 years’ independence celebration.