• September 25th, 2018
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The Great Problem

Columns, Diescho's Dictum
Columns, Diescho's Dictum

The nation is at a standstill. The King’s Palace has ordered that no movement be made, neither forward nor backwards, not even sideways, until further notice. No one dares to ask who will issue the notice. Everyone must be vetted. No one knows by whom. And when, and by what criteria. Just be vetted. No further questions, for now. Self-vetting perhaps. Silence and fear the yardsticks of vetting. The more quiet the more patriotic. Appointment or promotion, even pardon from stealing or insulting other citizens In The King’s Name may follow. No need to even know who the King is. Just know. Just fear. Just comply. Do nothing. Do what is expected, no need to know what it is. Do Nothing. You are vetted. It is cold outside in a land without snow. Vetting brings warmth. Brings cover. Or else you eat expired food from the Bank of Foods. Only one hymn on the pages of the hymn book is allowed, and only at certain times and sung in concert, directed only by selected choir masters who may not know the lyrics or the score. No established choral, only the humming of the Lord’s Prayer is allowed, as long as it is not in a vernacular. From the King’s hem all other dresses and shenga lappies, shitenges and kangas be affiliated. If you cannot sing the anthem, you are condemned by your own kith and kin. You were not raised properly, but you dare not go back and be a tribalist. If you are deaf and have not heard the new anthem, you are unfit for any purpose in the land. If you look the other way, you shall be declared blind by decree of the new tribunal, and perhaps forever. If you are mute and sing through signs and gebare, you are out of tune and bringing the new hymn copyright owners into disrepute. A punishable crime by the moods of the day, and depending on the tenor of the fake news. Woe unto you if you ask for the score sheet, for you are an enemy agent. Probably born after the revolution to which you brought nothing. You must have been born at the right time to be right in any way, shape or form. Else keep quiet if you cannot raise your fist in bewilderment. Claim that you were somewhere or did something. Even fetched wood for some unknown passer-by in your village. Make one up if you are a mbwiti! Recite the word Struggle in English, some English, fake your birthdate if you can. It helps in the scheme of bravery. Communities are ordered to wear only one uniform to claim relevance, vibrancy, vitality and to be deserving of a proper greeting. Hearing Professor PLO Lumumba name the African problem as purely and squarely that of leadership, appreciating his eloquence on how national resources are used up by thieves we call ministers and the lot, and following his erudite reasoning that Africa generally and Namibia for our purposes lack serious leadership the likes of Paul Kagame of Rwanda, Ian Seretse Khama of Botswana and John Pembo Magufuli of Tanzania, who see leadership not as a licence to acquire wealth and properties all over the show, who take action to clean up corruption and the looting of their nations’ meagre resources and in so doing steer their nations in accord with their potential into a better future for all, one was left to wonder whether we in Namibia do not have a chicken mentality. Somehow we think that we are different from the rest of the Afrikan family that so far demonstrated a permanent inability to get out of the victim mentality for so long, and continue to suffer from an insatiable appetite to accumulate by any means necessary even if we take from those who need it most, and still claim that we are right – and punish anyone who dares to say something is not quite right. It is safer to be in denial or afraid. This great problem of inertia grows like a worm in wet kraal manure with the scramble for positions in the lists to attend the SWAPO elective congress this year. Unlike any other time since independence, the country is at a standstill. Executives of state, such as cabinet ministers are not responding to calls by citizens who need attention. Permanent secretaries as accounting officers in ministries are immobilized and do not know whether they are coming or going since their line ministers are away campaigning for themselves and/or de-campaigning others. Chief executive officers of state-owned enterprises who are meant to be at the tractors’ wheels at all times driving the limping economy of the nation are away campaigning to go to congress. The youth that are meant to be the untainted voices for a better future are away from their sites endorsing before there is any candidate to endorse and campaigning and de-campaigning. Medical doctors and nurses across the country are expected to campaign and de-campaign either for those they believe can help them to move up their career ladder, or for themselves. Our university professors, administrators and lecturers are off site campaigning and de-campaigning. The most needed progressive women’s voices that could talk sense, morally and otherwise, into our body politic, are being intercepted to serve the business of the November SWAPO congress. School administrators and teachers across the land who are expected to keep their hands on the ploughs tilling the soil for tomorrow, are off school grounds meddling in national politics where they do not belong. In this state of affairs, who is left to do the work of taking the nation forward? This is our Great Problem!
2017-09-08 10:24:06 1 years ago
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