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Opinion - The Geingob we are going to miss

2021-11-26  Staff Reporter

Opinion - The Geingob we are going to miss
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In a peaceful, but yet misconstrued opinion piece titled: “Third term for President Geingob: Political Considerations”, I expressed my personal opinion as a citizen who is not at loggerheads with my own conscience, and as one exercising the fullest extent of my freedom of speech as enshrined in the Namibian constitution.  My rights to express approval of a leader’s attributes cannot be subjected to prescription or ring-fencing dictates. Every political leader creates patriotic following, based on (1) economic benefits-driven patriotism, (2) shared ideologies-driven patriotism, (3) the feeling of belonging-driven patriotism, (4) power sustenance- driven patriotism (5) ethnic allegiance-driven patriotism and (6) leadership qualities or principles-driven patriotism. 

 It is a known fact that African politics is galvanised around patriotism driven by material economic benefits and ethnic allegiance. To the contrary, I write as a Namibian who enjoys and applies the feeling of belonging patriotism, to qualify a holding principle that peace and freedom are a feeling and sense of belonging.   President  Hage Geingob’s tenure has been one that satisfies a sense of belonging as evidenced in civil service appointments, which carry a compact character of inclusiveness, balanced elevation and recognised presence in the Namibian house.  This fact cannot be snatched away from his leadership, as this is what informs his leadership qualities or principles-driven patriotic support base, amongst others. The dividends of independence and freedom are not rhetoric pronouncements of victory, but the citizens’ feelings of a sense of belonging to nationhood, inclusive empowerment, equitable access to state resources as opposed to selective empowerment to the exclusion and detriment of other equally deserving Namibians.   If President Geingob is a torch-bearer of shared prosperity and inclusivity, one wonders from which perspective the talk of a third term can generate anarchy as being alluded to by some political analyst with a myopic attitude.   

If my memory serves me right, somewhere in 2003, a number of traditional authorities in the north of the country, with the involvement of a certain Mr California or Man of Action (MHSRIP), began lobbying for Dr Sam Nujoma to return for a fourth term, saying he needs to complete certain projects, demonstrating a collective opinion from the traditional leaders, even knowingly being aware of the fact that Dr Nujoma had already received a public thanks’ third-term concession. These were traditional leaders who acted and spoke from an influential constituency, expressing a desire for the Founding Father to be ushered in for a final fourth term.  Whatever motivated these leaders is best- known to themselves as respective individuals and collectively as a group of traditional leaders, and no one has the right to blame or condemn them for exercising the rights to express their collective opinion; let alone referring to their expressions and exercise of their constitutional rights as “careless opinions.” Surprisingly, perceptions or talk of a potential eruption of anarchy when these opinions were raised by the northern traditional leaders were not even there. But all of a sudden, the mention or expression of the same opinion by a simple person, in the likes of me, with no institutional leverage, for the same consideration to be extended to President Geingob, says such talks now have the potential to generate anarchy.  Strange indeed. This country needs to rehabilitate itself from the spirit of social ill-wishes and political animosity, which evidently is now the order of the day. It is not only threatening the generational realisation of an inclusive true One Namibia One Nation, but strategically in practice even within the civil service circles, just to render this government apparently a failing government through the PHD (Pull Him Down) ideology.  Apart from feeling the sense of belonging and with no necessity to seek permission from anyone, I’m enticed to write good about President Geingob’s leadership for, among other things, the prerogative decision he took to increase social grants for the elders by 100%, the introduction of the food bank for the marginalised section of society, and his good governance credentials which are regarded in high esteem by the international community.   It is hard to imagine how the marginalised section of society would be surviving this time around, amidst economic headwinds, which even able-bodied individuals can feel, had President Hage Geingob not increased the social grants and initiated the food bank programme.  The problem that this country is having is not the constitution when it comes to the third term issue now. It is the political perfectionism entitlement that when the wind of political leadership is blowing from the northern hemisphere, it is fresh air, worthy breathing for everyone, but when the same wind takes a turn to blow from the southern hemisphere, it is no longer fresh air worth breathing, but ordinary wind with political impurities. Just as much as the President has trashed the talk of a Third Term, this political leadership perfectionism and entitlement belief is a primitive game, which must be abandoned altogether to realise a politically civilised and principled society, founded on  true inclusiveness,  not only political sloganeering.  If wishes were horses, we would wish that we ride in the direction of the inclusive political wind blowing as fresh air from the southern hemisphere.  The outright repudiation attitude towards the third term narrative without giving due consideration of its imperativeness, is equally symbolism of renegade display, an equally careless attitude, even from some political analysts, in the sense that despite all the good things that President Geingob’s leadership has achieved, he hardly receives fidelity merit for it, but negative affirmation to qualify the PHD ideology, which is actively in practice.   

Finally, to those who assert that writing an article in praise of the leadership and attributes of President Geingob is seeking for favours or employment considerations, they have a childish mindset, are intellectually impoverished, hence their premature, non-substantive conclusions because if it were so, then everyone in this country who knows how to write would have been rewarded with a job.     

*Josephat Inambao Sinvula is a holder of a B.Sc in Urban Studies & Planning, MPA (Public Administration) and is a PhD Candidate in Political Science. He is a former Under-Secretary: Ministry of Home Affairs, and Director of HR, Finance & Administration, Oshana Regional Council. He is from the Zambezi region but lives at Ongwediva, Oshana region.


2021-11-26  Staff Reporter

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