The purpose of this article is to buttress or underpin the importance of constitutional democratic governance which has created an enabling peaceful conducive political and economic environment over the past 30 years in Namibia
Strict practice and adherence to the principles and values of constitutional democracy has become the norm for the ruling Swapo Party by conception and implementation of progressive public policies that have impacted positively in turning Namibia into a developmental state status (least developed/middle income country).
Democracy is commonly defined as the government of the people by the people and for the people. The Centre for Civic Education (Los Angeles, USA) describe it as government of a community in which all citizens, rather than favored individuals or groups, have the right and opportunity to participate. In a democracy, the people are sovereign. The people are the ultimate source of authority. The fundamental value of constitutional democracy reflects a paramount concern with human dignity-the worth and value of each individual. Constitutional democracy is the antithesis of arbitrary rule. It is the opposite of despotic, autocratic and tyrannical rules.
In a constitutional democracy such as that of Namibia, the authority of the majority is limited by legal and institutional means so that the rights of individuals and minorities are respected. This is the form of democracy practiced in Germany, Japan, United States, and other countries. For many if not all Namibians, the foregoing scenario is synonymous with the constitutional democratic governance practiced under the Swapo Party-led government at all political levels (central, local authorities, regional authorities, and traditional authorities) levels in our country.
Constitutional democracy practiced in the unitary, secular democratic Republic of Namibia has laid a strong foundation for the building and consolidation of our developmental State. The Swapo-led government pursues constitutional democracy on the basis of the characteristics identical to those identified by the Centre for Civic Education mentioned above: a democracy characterised by factors outlined as follows
Popular Sovereignty. The people are the ultimate source of the authority of government which derives its right to govern from their consent.
Majority Rule and Minority Rights: although “the majority rule” the fundamental rights of individuals in the minority are protected
Limited Government: The powers of government are limited by law, and a written or unwritten constitution which those in power obey
Institutional and procedural limitations on powers: There are certain institutional and procedural devices which limit the powers of government. This may include.
Separated and shared powers: Powers are separated among different agencies or branches of government. Each agency or branch has primary responsibility for certain functions. However, each branch also shares these functions with the other branches.
Checks and balances: Different agencies or branches of government have adequate powers to check the powers of other branches. Checks and balances may include the power of judiciary review- the power of courts to declare actions of other branches of government to be contrary to the Constitution and therefore null and void iii) Due process of Law: Individual rights to life, liberty and property are protected by the guarantee of due process of law.
Leadership succession through elections: Elections ensure that key positions in government will be contested at periodic intervals and the transfer of governmental authority is accomplished in a peaceful and orderly process.
Constitutional democracy in Namibia have mostly facilitated for the respect of the rule of law. Namibia’s developmental state model has yielded positive economic development. Private and public sector collaboration in project development have resulted in the development of Namibia’s towns and cities. The City of Windhoek, Swakopmund, Ondangwa, Oshakati, Rundu, Oranjemund, and others have become modern cities and towns with modern infrastructures which has not only contribute to their development, but they were transformed into modern business trading hubs (offering goods and services) for improvement of the standard of living of the local residents
Rural infrastructure development such as roads construction and electrification has transformed many previously neglected and underdeveloped remote parts of Namibia (e.g. communal and commercial farm areas) from north to the south, east and west. Telecommunication in Namibia is widespread through the availability of mobile phone and the internet networks channeled through state-of-the-art digital technological towers and other advancement provided for by Swapo-led government’s semi-public institutions (Telecom and MTC), and others by private owned institutions.
The developmental and redistributive state model of the Swapo-led government’s approach has contributed to the wider development of Namibia’s economic sectors to the benefit of citizenry at the national, regional, local and rural development levels. The trickling down of the economy for poverty reduction through government intervention have been on the increase since the attainment of Namibia’s independence in 1990, as it can be clearly demonstrated and attested by many achievements made by the Swapo party led government listed above.
On comparative analysis basis, all reality pointers reflect as matter of facts that, Namibia in all human endeavours, is not at level where it started 30 years ago. At human capital level, Namibia have two National Universities and many private tertiary institutions. The government has hugely invested in the blue economy industries and sectors (two modem mega Sea Ports: the Port of Walvis Bay and that of Lüderitz) are a clear testimony in this regard. Namibia contribute a lot to African economic integration and development — serving as a regional economic hub or entry port (entrepot) to some of the land locked SADC countries of Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe, and others on the African continent such as Angola, South Africa and DRC.
Namibia under constitutional democratic rule has contributed substantially to the development and prosperity of millions and millions of people in countries mentioned above, and beyond. Thus, in Southern Africa, Namibia plays a catalyst role to global economic development similar to those global business and international finance investment being played by Singapore in the maritime southeast Asia (Malay peninsula) and Dubai in the middle east (the Arab World).
Namibia is a connecting global/international trade business centre; therefore, it must not be allowed to fall onto the hands of the political hooligans and anarchists by any hook or crook. The Namibian voters must not allow the self-styled born again so called patriots, democrats and revolutionaries to ascend to power at whatever level of democratic governance in this country These political demagogues (counter revolutionaries) who are always thirsty and hungry for hurling personal insults against their political opponents, must not be allowed to disrupt the gains of constitutional democratic governance in Namibia with their weird corrupt anti-constitutionalism aims and objectives. They ought to be advised to stop abusing opponents with abusive offensive language in order for them to be afforded the same courtesy. Democracy is about the battle of ideas on public policies formulations and analysis for public service, therefore, it is not about personal abuses.
Their flippant obsession and insatiable passion for frivolous lawlessness talks and bagatelle horseplay activities, such as their reckless propaganda propagating for illegal land grabbing, anti- local and foreign investors, protests and their other anti-social behaviors, which are the anti-thesis of constitutional democratic rule in Namibia and elsewhere, qualify them to be democratically nailed in the bud, as early as possible, in any democratic process where these misinformed, misguided and misled elements (member of our society) may try to partake.
The Swapo-led government’s transformative economic distributive development model has unlocked and diversified the Namibian economy with the development of new economic sectors which freed our country from heavy dependence on finite extractive economic sectors/industries such as mining, fisheries etc.
On the social front, Namibia is one of the few countries in Africa, which offers economic social grants (old age pensions, financial grand, and food parcels) to the orphans, elderly people, and other economically disadvantaged groups and individuals.
The political anarchy and hooliganism by those who for the past 30 years as per their own confessions and admission, did not politically participate in the growth of the social and economic development of this nation, as they were either enjoying the comfort and convenience of hiding in Europe, and for some who remained in Namibia for over 30 years never bothered to join any political party (the ruling or the opposition parties) for voting purposes must not be allowed to mess up, disrupt and derail the gains of constitutional democracy in Namibia.
For those who did not participate in the political life of Namibia, due to their age limitation (political wet behind their ears), they can be excused. But be that as it may, all these counter revolution reactionary characters must not be allowed to mess up politics in Namibia with their unjustifiable misinformed radicalism. Those who were sleeping all these years (30 years) without any ‘political home’ must remain in their slumber of their imaginary dream world which blind them from seeing positive political, economic, social, technological and legal transformation, gains and achievements made in Namibia. Namibians who were and continues to be politically active irrespective of their political affiliations (members of the ruling party and some belonging to the opposition parties) must proud themselves for having made and continues to make Namibia a successful shining constitutional democratic country. Forward ever, backward never!