This letter comes after our attempt to focus your attention on matters of regional importance failed during your state of the region address (SORA), delivered on 4 June 2021.
I was dismayed by the prohibition of questions from the public, deliberately misinterpreting Article 110A (6) of the Namibian constitution, which places an obligation on you to be available to respond to questions.
Honourable governor Sirkka Ausiku, be reminded that in a country where democracy is allowed to work, one of the principles that are normally entrenched is a feedback system and a discussion between those who formulate policies, programmes and projects with those who must perceive, accept or reject.
It is imperative to be guided by those ideals when dealing with public affairs. Evasiveness and secrecy breeds suspicion which could be avoided through transparency and accountability. Find it in your heart that people of Kavango West are moving with a great sense of urgency to confront any tendency that undermines democracy, the rule of law and justice for all, moving forward.
Honourable governor, you are entrusted with the responsibility of ensuring that programmes and projects in the region are fully implemented, in line with the plans and budgetary allocations of different offices, ministries and agencies through effective coordination, monitoring and evaluation within a specified timeframe.
The National Planning Commission report of 2020-2021 on the progress of national projects shows steady or no progress in most projects planned for the Kavango West region, whereas in other regions, projects are being fully implemented. The delay is caused by the transferring of those budgeted funds, as you are always concerned and appeal to officials to refrain from such acts.
Will I be correct to say that you are failing our region in terms of coordinating and monitoring to ensure that projects are being implemented? Your approaches have demonstrated that you do not have political power neither the political will that we, the residents, think you have to deliver those services we are being deprived of under your leadership.
Let me express my dissatisfaction on your state of the region address. Your speech does not revive the hopes of the hopeless. Therefore, it is baseless and superficial. You did not articulate any tangible response, neither anything different from your previous SORA on how to address the regional challenges, specifically youth unemployment, which is at 46.6%.
The others are inadequate health and educational facilities, teenage pregnancies, lack of recreational and sports facilities and poor road infrastructure, amongst others.
You clearly have no plan, that is why you talk about stakeholder consultations, the Harambee Prosperity Plan and creating value-addition projects at the implementation stage. We have hoped for a clear plan of action of activities to be done that will respond to our challenges.
I am worried that you did not recognise corruption as one of the challenges that the region is faced with, despite some officials at the Kavango West Regional Council in cahoots with various ministries being rumoured to be engaged in corrupt activities of kickbacks, favouritism, nepotism and fraud here.
To think that if one has proof to bring it forth, it is suppressing the fight against corruption in the region.
Let me make my public call to the good people of Kavango West to wholeheartedly join hands for an urgent intervention that could change the dire socio-economic conditions in our region.