George Orwell’s book, Animal Farm, satirises the behaviour of pigs after chasing Mr Jones, the owner of Manor Farm. After freeing themselves from human oppression, the pigs adopted the lifestyle of human beings which they initially resented. Looking from man to pig and from pig to man, there was no difference. In addition, all the commandments which were drafted by the animals were reduced to one, “All animals are equal but there are animals who are more equal than others.” This is an analogy of many countries that won independence through the barrel of the gun. Namibia qualifies in this analogy in many aspects, in which thirty years ago, the citizens stood together to fight the colonizers.
However, during this period of nationhood, some Namibians have amassed enormous wealth which is ill-gotten. This elite group has become more equal than others and have very little to do with their former comrades in the liberation struggle. What is important now is the amount of money one has in the bank. Even the electorates are forgotten and left to rot in the political precipice until another turn of elections comes. It is this inequality that forced Namibians to leave their beloved country and spend many years in exile fighting for liberation, which is repeating itself in another ugly fashion. It is betrayal of the highest order for anyone to take these nationals for granted.
November is six months away when regional and local elections will be held. Regions and local authorities are gearing up for these elections. Party members are jostling for positions in their respective constituencies and town councils. Thanks to the coronavirus otherwise the jostling warfare could have started in earnest in all regions by now. Voters in the Zambezi region stand to evaluate their councillors and see who delivered and those who failed. It cannot be business as usual. The electorates should seriously take stock of their councillors. They should consider the following:
Recycled councillors must go
Ngugi waThiongo and Chinua Achebe maintain that immediately after independence African leaders always give excuses that people cannot fit in the hut because it is small therefore others should wait outside to get their turn in warming themselves. Unfortunately, there is always no end in sight of the waiting. The councillors who have served for more than two terms should out of their conscience step down. No matter whether they think they have served their constituency very well and vice versa, the point is that they are not the only ones who can deliver. Africa experienced years of leaders who stayed until they died in office on the pretext that they were the only ones who could rule forever. Some of them coined titles like Life Presidents, Eternal for Ever, Wamuyayaya (forever and ever), Father of the Nation (Baba wa Taifa) and many others. We cannot afford such situation in a free and independent Namibia. Even the presidency is two terms of five years each. This is not a violation of the Constitution, but to limit the temptation to stick to power. It is not an issue that the voters still want the councillor to serve them, but another person should take over. What is it that the councillor has failed to achieve in ten years, which he or she will accomplish in additional years or terms? These are political positions and not chiefdoms hence these councillors are replaceable. It is a fact that they have run out of ideas and power is likely to corrupt them.
The Fishrot scandal has exposed some councillors and their share in the rot. These councillors should not be allowed to contest under any circumstances. Still there are councillors who buy their way through to the election time. They ultimately win the election through cheating and bribing the electorate. This should not be allowed in an independent Namibia. People fought and sacrificed their precious lives for a fair and just Namibia. For one to buy votes, is unacceptable. What pains most is that the national leaders sent to monitor the elections of candidates usually turn a blind eye and let the process of cheating and bribing voters go ahead unabated. Some constituencies usually lose hard working people with interest of the party and people at heart but because they have no money to buy voters, ultimately fail to make it. Sibbinda constituency is a case in point here, where voters can be bought for N$100 only. The constituency is not for sale, to see who is the highest bidder. The result is that genuine Swapo members have been left out. The voters of this constituency must change this time around and vote for a candidate who can deliver. The councillor’s hands are still dripping with borehole scandals.
Katima Rural, Kongola and Lyabboloma councillors should equally pave way for energetic and performing councillors. It was shameful that the councillor for Kongola was arrested during the state of emergency for selling alcohol when he was supposed to enforce the ban. The electorates were supposed to pass a vote of no confidence there and then. The country needs dedicated and committed leaders at all levels.
Quota system on the local council
It is unacceptable that all eight or so councillors on Katima Mulilo local authority come from one ethnic group. Still it is incredible that the whole regional council in the Zambezi region has no women representatives. This is bias of the highest order, yet the national headquarters are condoning such malpractices in an independent and free Namibia. Yes in a democracy, the winner takes it all, but we are in Africa, where people want to be represented at all levels of government. We equally have the policy of affirmative action, .which can easily be applied
In this independent and free nation, there are still councillors who have turned themselves into demigods. They would not get out of their cars to address the electorates until the women have laid their chitenges on the ground for them to step on to symbolise the red carpet. Even the president of the Republic cannot subject our mothers and sisters to such humiliating gesture.
These councillors should be shown the door and replaced with those who are servants of the electorates. These challenges are not only confined to the Zambezi region but could be found in all constituencies of Namibia, hence the need to approach them head-on.
2020-06-05 09:17:43 | 1 months ago