• May 29th, 2020

Politicising Okatope well deaths an insensitive opportunism

Last week’s sad deaths of two men at Okatope village in Ohangwena Region, after a traditional well they were digging collapsed on them, has brought to the fore a firm reminder of the opportunism that is deeply entrenched in our politics.

Without verifying facts, armchair critics and keyboard warriors fingered government as having to do with the gruesome way in which the two men died.

The habitual faultfinders, who have made it their sole province to pounce on disasters for their parochial political expediency, lazily accused the country’s authorities for the death.

They blamed government and those leading it of depriving citizens of water, to the extent that the community of Okatope has supposedly resorted to digging wells for survival.
The fact that drought, a natural disaster over which no man has control, has sucked the country dry is of no sense to the habitual naysayers.

Neither was the fact that the well in question belonged to a local individual, who seemingly wanted to have alternative sources of water; alternative to the government-provided water taps within his reach.
That government officials had warned the owners of the well to stop their activities as they posed danger is also conveniently ignored in the discourse of what really transpired in Okatope.

It is a shame that while the families of the two deceased men are coming to terms with the brutal nature of how they lost their brave sons, opportunists have pounced on these deaths to score cheap political points.
And it is exactly these types of shenanigans that have characterised the lethargic political landscape in this country, where substance has always been in short supply in discourse.

Voters, especially in this election year, have their ears widely open to hear what all political formations – or independent candidates – have to offer going into the November 27 contest.

Instead of preaching what political they intend to do about the limping economy, unemployment and poverty, the boo boys waited until someone died in Okatope so that they pin it on their adversaries.
The poverty of alternatives to issues is glaring. And it’s the voter who is left with no real buffet of policy persuasions to choose from.

Politicians and the lazy pretenders who have nothing else to do but to pin their hopes on the low-hanging fruit that is Namibian politics, ought to elevate the level of engagement.
But in a country gripped by a poverty of ideas in the political space, sad deaths such as those of Okatope become the cunning anchor of their poor campaign strategies.

Namibian voters deserve vibrant issue-based debates so that they are spoilt for choice when going into the voting booth this November.

The caveman politics, still stuck in the dark age of yesteryear, has no place in the future of the country we are all dreaming of living in. 

Staff Reporter
2019-06-21 10:06:40 | 11 months ago

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