Words of mouth have thickened the air over the past couple of months, as politicians – affiliated and independent – tried convincing residents of Ondangwa Urban Constituency to vote for them in tomorrow’s crunch election.
Crunch may sound too heavy a description, but that is exactly the weight of tomorrow’s contestation due to countless dynamics that characterise this run-off.
For the first time in our republican history, conversations about the candidates’ ages – young versus old – thundered in louder decibels.
Never in our existence as a nation have we seen age stealing so much shine on a campaign trail.
The current hullaballoo tells us that either this was a clever way to sway the youth into the voting booth or that truly; the realities of generational transitions are upon us.
Yet, we dare say, the constitution provides protection to both the young and old – and their right to contest for political office.
Another relatively new dynamic that came to prominence during the campaign trail is that of independent candidates – currently a thorny issue in particularly the country’s oldest establishments.
With independent candidacy came a wave of opportunism in some quarters, where individuals with an insatiable lust for power are now trying to take shortcuts and circumvent established pathways to high office.
Also birthed out of this situation is seemingly a renewed sense of belief among many people – particularly the youth – that their only way to the top is through embarking on the independent candidate highway.
Whether being old, young, independent or affiliated really matters would be put to a litmus test tomorrow in Ondangwa.
Campaign promises aside, there is a brewing ideological warfare at play, anchored particularly on the recurring themes of age and affiliation.
This is a by-election of ideologies rather than capabilities of contestants and what they can deliver to the desperate masses of that constituency.
For most of the campaign trail, the traditional way of election promises were placed on the backburner – and ideology took center stage.
This is perhaps what makes tomorrow’s contest a bit more exciting than any by-election in recent memory.
What is perhaps even more exciting is how the outcome of the election would shape these ideologies going forward.
Would age and political affiliation (or disaffiliation) matter after this election, curious onlookers may ask. What lessons would have been learnt and would such lessons provide an opportunity to fine-tune future approaches and strategies? Only time will tell.
In the final analysis, we look forward to a civilised political contest tomorrow. A contest that, after all is said and done, would translate into better opportunities for the people of Ondangwa Urban in particular, and Namibians in general.
2019-06-14 10:40:24 4 days ago