• July 10th, 2020

Thought leaders - Our honourable members of parliament in action

Confucius (551- 479 B.C.) an ancient Chinese philosopher in his ren philosophy which includes “benevolence”, “goodness”, “virtue”, “humanity”, “humanness”, and “being authoritative.” maintained that in all things “the wise must rule and the unlearned obey.” Plato (428 -348 B.C.) equally argued, “Only the best or else the virtuous people are able to rule the nation.” Unfortunately, the nations across the globe for centuries have violated these dictums and ended up stuffing their parliaments with politicians of dubious and corrupt characters. 

Disruptions during SONA
The disruptions of the State of the Nation Address (SONA) on 4 June 2020 by the opposition parties might have left some Namibians dumbfounded. There are factors that enrage many Africans in parliaments today and have brought the ripple effect at the door of the Namibian parliament. For example, Knight and Newman (1976) assert that Black Africa has suffered more severely from alien impact than any other part of the world. First came the slave trade which took away millions and degraded both the people and the land. Later came European colonialism with its suppression of the indigenous evolution of society and polity. Then came the myth of the ‘Dark Continent’ awaiting the arrival of European culture, technology and religion to lift the African people from their state of savagery. During this period, black Namibians were declared non-existent fictional or imaginary human beings or mere objects and their land inhabited in keeping with the European racist arrogance (Moleah, 1983). Pseudo-independence in Africa brought in a brief sense of relief, which was short-lived as leaders opted for one partyism, only to be replaced by militaryism. 

Returning back to multi-partyism hatched a corrupt system where rigging elections is the order of the election systems. This epitomises what Freire refers to as “the oppressed becomes the oppressor,” and Africans can no longer stand akimbo. There has been political maturity in the Namibian parliament although few members would stray and character-assassinate fellow colleagues for having collaborated with the racist, oppressive apartheid regime.  

SONA process
Instead of directing their questions to His Excellency the President, some of the members gave statements contrary to the occasion and posed irrelevant questions. The plight of the youth in terms of unemployment was taken lightly. Even the young parliamentarians could not represent their own contemporaries but forgot the plight of their comrades in less than a year of being in parliament. What many members forgot is that people want bread on their tables and are no longer interested in rhetoric.  

Mode of Expression
Some honourables should not be blamed for their lack of diction, but this should be shouldered by the racist educational system. Surely, 30 years into independence should have honed their linguistic skills.  It is unfortunate that Namibians failed to create a national lingua franca like other countries in the region like Botswana, South Africa and Tanzania. 

Party list
Perhaps it is time the honourables consider abolishing the party list and move to a constituent representative system where they are accountable to the electorates. Currently the fate of many honourables lies in the hands of the leader of the party. Whatever the honourables debate in the august house, it is imperative to note that we are building the Namibian nation. Therefore discussions should be constructive and reconciliatory for the sake of peace and development.

Staff Reporter
2020-06-12 10:12:33 | 28 days ago

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