I have weakened! But, as one who has no political allegiances, and who feels my patriotic duty is to openly speak my mind, I shall state my position with reasons come what may.
Why am I concerned? Simply, Namibia is entering a seriously difficult period both socially and economically in a confused world. Figure 1 of the budget MTEF document shows the economic risks. The failure of trade unions to represent their workers and civil organisations failing the poor while their leaders are mostly sucking up for future political position is leading to social problems.
Similarly I see our “youth”, mostly pensionable, despite having obvious talents, have sold their souls to personal onslaught in their quest for political patronage and position. They do this from their luxury houses and farms while crying all the way to the bank! Meanwhile our elected and appointed legislators and administrators spend their time defending our 50 per cent unemployment rate, pathetic maternal survival and infant death rates and promising next year our education system might provide some mathematicians and scientists. These “officials” appear to have lost touch with Namibian realities (poverty?).
More important, our top leadership appears to lack the managerial teeth. Our perennial problems of SOEs, tender processes, a primary industry dependent economy, failing infrastructure, a disastrous land resettlement programme and urban property prices decimating the spending power of our middle classes are unaddressed. And more!
The underlying failure is based upon the multiple forms of corruption rapidly permeating all activity. Bribes, commissions, zoning, money laundering, smuggling, institutional robbery (GIPF?), the list is endless. Our leaders’ response is more never-to-be-published investigations, never-to-be-finalised legal battles and never-to-be-achieved national plans, visions and strategies.
We write, we spin, we talk but we never do. And we hide behind fictitious, meaningless targets of performance and accountability, see budget accountability report! We are silent on our failings as we slide down our once-favourite international benchmarks. Leadership is failing. We need a leader who will drag us howling out of this mire, capitalising on successes, scrapping that not working and replacing those not delivering. What qualities are required in such a person?
First, within our political system, any thought of the perfect being, without skeletons, is ridiculous! I want someone who is totally committed to our Constitution, to the rule of law and delivery of justice, who has personal charisma, international profile and has demonstrated adherence to personal and political principle. They must have a track record, not just rhetorical spin. They must have experience broader than just pure politics, proven capability, a fearless nature and can instil some fear into our political and administrative peoples. One who has experience and vision of national plans. One who has an abundance of personal power to add to their constitutional positional power! One who can replace the third “P”, patronage, with meritocracy!
Our political circus reveals few that meet the criteria! The Ithana / Geingob camps are at war! Nahas has intellect but little track record, Theo-Ben is too nice, Ekandjo is indecisive, the youth fail to inspire, the list is thin.
Thus while I leave Swapo to their job, I will support Hage; despite his age and some imperfections he satisfies many criteria and had the guts to resign after his spat with Uncle Sam and return! And he is decisive, grumpy and tough.
Swapo must do. Come on, shoot me down Namibians!