Joshua Razikua Kaumbi
A sitting president is judged against his predecessor. The human mind always believes that what was is better than the present. It is equally true that any president’s efforts, especially genuine, are best understood and appreciated long after leaving office.
President Geingob came into office at a time when the chickens had come home to roost regarding challenges to overcome structural inequalities, which have resisted some of our best efforts and minds to date. At the epoch of the president’s guardianship of the Namibian house, some of the anomalies that were beneath started to surface because of the culture of transparency and accountability advocated by this President.
As our society became more transparent and accountable, people not only started to see the light at the end of the tunnel but also started to believe that the said light is now within reach. Common sense dictates there be a stampede and the ensuing deafening noise with the potential of distracting the Namibian project.
The above led to an engage citizenry questioning lapses in governance at certain levels due to opportunistic and soulless apparatchiks; prolonged economically debilitating droughts, and a creeping global recession, which is now all but certain due to a once-in-a-century pandemic. A post-Geingob analysis will agree that his handling of the Covid-19 pandemic was beyond reproach.
Amidst the listed challenges, the ascend of President Geingob to the presidency in 2015 signaled the introduction of a national project and an agenda alive to that light at the end of the tunnel, and the opening to the great and limitless society we have all held just beyond our vision.
The project of inclusivity, shared prosperity, acceleration of generational change, transparency, the vanquishing of structural inequalities is that necessary obtaining condition for peace, (existence or non-existence of inclusivity/exclusivity guarantees the existence or non-existence of harmony/conflict, development needs peace) characteristically entrenched in education, housing, healthcare, gender, race and access to information all became the hallmark of this administration. I will leave the concept of necessary conditions to my cousin to scientifically explain same.
Having been his special guest of honour recently, my status as an ordinary citizen noted, where we spoke and agreed at length, it was clear to me that the project that is Namibia remains not only dear to him but also viable and worth pursuing. It became equally clear that the agenda he had set for his term of guardianship appears feasible despite the independent intervening variables at home and the world. For the project that is Namibia to be reachable, achievable and tangible for all in our society, all corners of our society need to enter into a social compact, where everyone would buy into the singular idea of making life better for all Namibians.
We might not reach it this year, but it is clear that his first term set the necessary foundation, which should help us pursue this, better and more resolute. There has been an unprecedented level of freedom to offer dissent, which have unfortunately not offered up substantive alternatives and solutions from those offering such dissent. There has been created space in our Namibian house for an unprecedented level of rejuvenation and accountability, encouragingly driven by our youth, who have unbridled reserves of energy we should harness to complete the project that is Namibia, and give them the future we dreamt for ourselves.
During the third administration, we got introduced to that inalienable fact that dialogue (Geingob) allows individuals to gain insights that simply could not be achieved individually. (Peter Senges, edited)
Besides holding the administration accountable, we should also all engage it in a social compact that will leave no observers on the sidelines, but where we all shall be called by names and recognised as equal title deed holders rather than mere occupants of this Namibian house.
We have to finish the race strongly and hand over the baton properly for our children not only to inherit our sorrows but also our joys.
*Joshua Razikua Kaumbi is a holder of BA Political Science and Sociology (Unam), LLB (Stellenbosch) and an admitted legal practitioner, currently serving as Chief Legal Advisor of Nust. He writes in his personal capacity.