March 21, our day of Independence is a time of reflection and introspection on how far we have come as a nation. It is a time of frank conversations about the blessings that we have and enjoys as a nation, peace and stability, law and order, improved housing, education and health sectors (compared to the time we gained our self-rule) and the lessons learned that matured as a people.
It is time to put aside our difference and celebrate the countless sacrifices of the many Namibians who laid and continue to lay their lives on the pedestal for this nation, including our teachers, health care workers, labourers, taxi drivers, those in the informal markets, bankers, engineers and the list goes on.
On this day we celebrate each other despite the challenges we face, we thank the Almighty for the blessings of a free Namibia, but above all for the leaders that we have as a nation, irrespective of our dislike of their persona.
I strongly believe, at times through the cloud of our mistrust and prejudices, we seem to not count our blessings and forget how good we have compared to other nations. Our hatred for our leaders for whatever reasons rob us of the opportunity to celebrate the calibre of our people and this gratefulness is what I wish to remind us of, in particular focus on our current President, Hage Geingob.
Last year alone, he was reported to be the third-best president in Africa, and there is yet another pending award from a continental teaching body for having demonstrated extraordinary commitment to the upliftment of the teaching profession in Africa.
President Geingob is lauded for the decisive stance against corruption in the country and extreme cases, for how the truth exonerated him against feeble allegations deliberately levelled against him by those who consider themselves as detractors, albeit, wrongfully so.
One can go on about the truth of the Geingob administration, guided and themed by the 'Rs' for the improvement of the lives of the citizens of this country towards Namibia we want and of course not forgetting the many challenges the country faced since 2015 and how the Namibian House remained intact and grew stronger.
Ironically, the plethora of recognitions and realities seem to conveniently find us at a time when some Namibians are living true to the Christian account of the time when the carpenter’s son told his Cabinet of 12 in the records of the young fisherman, John 4:44, stating that a prophet has no honour in his land.
Be that as it may, it is imperative that we, for once, put aside our unfounded dislikes, undesired hatred and other innuendoes, if we are to genuinely evaluate the Geingob presidency since 2015 both at a party and national level, during our Independence celebrations.
It is simply juvenile and thuggery to deliberately claim amnesia to the fact that it is under the leadership of President Geingob, that Swapo learned to face certain realities and with meticulous procession has opened up to different expressions albeit how bold, daring or opposite.
President Geingob through strategic interventions such as the cancellation of suspicious national tenders, and the taking on of cabinet ministers accused of corruption, among many others, restored hope within the ruling party, especially among those party cadres who were irked by reports of corruption within the government.
It is the same Swapo president who, having understood the concept that although presidents and narratives may change, public institutions remain the same and hence oversaw an evaluation of these institutions to align them to the best practises in good governance with emphasis on accountability and transparency.
Furthermore, due to his experience, exposure and education, the President led reforms which saw the strengthening of public institutions to among others help jumpstart the most vulnerable of our society to improved standards of living such as the increase of social grants and the introduction of the food bank.
In keeping with the contract with the Namibian people and through the open door policy, President Geingob consulted citizens from all walks of life on our governance trajectory, through the much-appreciated town hall meetings, a first in Namibia.
In a myopic attempt to discredit the persona and profile of President Geingob, some who are masquerading behind the faces of journalism or activism have failed to pin the effects emanating from interdepend intervening variables such as the crippling drought, the unbearable global economic recession and the black cloud of Covid-19, as if these were manufactured at No 1 Engelbrecht Street.
This is reminiscent of the time when His Excellency was running for the Swapo vice-presidency and some cliques were putting out all stops to prevent him from winning, when that did not work, they remained true to their quest to make it difficult for the Geingob presidency to achieve anything and or to shot down any talks of achievement, again on the account of hidden concoctions.
I am likening the origin of this Greek character analogy to that period of our party and nation’s history, because there can never be any other justification for maliciously penning pieces aimed at driving swords of falsehood in the evident achievements of this current leadership than tribal undertones.
Contrary to popular belief, President Geingob is Namibia’s arrow of Trojan prince Paris that struck the powerful Achilles and for the sake of this conversation, continues to aim at poverty, hunger, unemployment, and lack of land and housing to mention but a few.
It is the arrow that has set the tone for Swapo and our nation on the aspects of good governance, service delivery and inclusivity. President Geingob remains indeed the array of hope in our nation’s existence.
*Elvis Muraranganda is an alumnus of the China-Africa Press Centre fellowship programme, a media personality with over 13 years of experience and a communications consultant.