• October 15th, 2019

Upholding democracy



Taloshili Olavi Hangula 

It is 2019, another year to many but a pivotal one for Namibia. 
Over the next few months, we will see many take to the streets to justify re-election. 
We will see others make promises to seek election, but most importantly, we will watch these candidates and decide who is worthy of our majority vote.

A country, so young and vibrant, Namibia is one of the few African democracies that has gone above and beyond to not only account to the expectations of what it is to be democratic but to also sustain verbatim what is expected of one.

Intuitively, for the candidates, maintaining office should be entirely dependent on satisfying the electorate. 
Subsequently, as an electorate that is the question that we will ponder with when going to the polls...were we satisfied these past five years? 
Did we get the service delivery we hoped for? 

These amongst others are questions that every individual may have a different answer for.
However, are we to be objective in our analysis, it is no secret that the incumbent administration was not only elected with record numbers, it was also expected to survive and deliver to the people amidst conditions that undeniably were a record for our nation. 

As we are all aware, the economy hit rock bottom and the drought scorched through every corner of our country. Indeed we cannot dictate the climate we ought to have done better as a country to mitigate the consequences we face today. 

I’m still inclined to give the benefit of the doubt to the State and confidently assert that had they not been in the economic situation they find themselves in, they would have been able to deliver a more satisfactory term. 

On the other hand, the diminishing of state accountability is breeding misery into the electorate. Unequal resource allocation championed by greedy elites will eventually become an exorbitant cost if corruption is not put on serious check soon.

The opposition, unfortunately - like any other - is faced with some of the greatest challenges, having to prove to the voters that they are more capable than the incumbent. 

This includes having to explicitly differentiate themselves from a ruling party, which stands on a concrete foundation of loyalists who arguably do not vote based on satisfaction but pure loyalty. 
The opposition has to a large extent failed to draw in the youth vote, which is now starting to become a swing determinant moving forward. 

Perhaps, it is limited resources but the failure to mobilise and strategically appeal to the youth is evident.
As a result, I foresee conflicted voters this election year. 
In my opinion, abstaining is not an option. 

My advice to remedy your conflicts is to read party manifestos so that your decision is an informed one. Furthermore, if these manifestos boast of policies that align with your ideological stance and speak to your vision, go to the poll and be true to yourself. 

Let us remain a model democracy for the world and more importantly may the winner pay closer attention to the electorate and unapologetically be accountable to the voters. 
I wish Namibia a safe, free and fair elections.

*Taloshili Olavi Hangula (21) is an undergraduate student at the University of Rochester in New York, you can email him at thangula@u.rochester.edu

All views expressed above are objective and independent.
 


Staff Reporter
2019-10-04 08:12:03 11 days ago

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