Let me first ask, why do people pay high prices for the Benz? Is it because of the star on its hood? Some say so, but they forget that this star has earned its reputation by the car’s excellence.
So, why does ‘everyone seem to have something awful to say about the Namibian Ministry of Home Affairs’? Why the relentless barrage of sharp criticism by us Namibians? Is it because of the ministry’s excellent or dismal service? Asheeke thinks the noise created by the people is responsible for the strange and highly negative attitude of the officials working for that ministry. My query is, why did the ministry not react positively to the first ‘noise’ made by the public many years ago already? Why did the ministry close its ears, eyes and mind to that ‘noise’?
Back in the beginning of the nineties, we were all full of pride about our own ‘people’s administration’ and tried to engage our government ‘soberly’ – and what were the results? Yes, because of the way service delivery developed, we today have little positive to say about this government, which is too headstrong to listen to critique and prefers to ‘soar above the mess it created’!
The repeated vast majority of votes it gained at every election - this until today – made this government an anti-people government, a complacent government that later obviously felt nothing for the people it had to serve. It managed Namibia in a way that made few happy. Ms Asheeke should blow her vuvuzela for the people, not for a failing government – that would be right, that would be welcomed. The Ministry of Home Affairs failed miserably but is no exception; most of the ministries and SOEs are badly run and they are seemingly beyond the state of repair. It is probably not easy for everyone to understand this, because the typical Namibian cannot compare, he is too young for that and/or knows too little about the wider world. We can also not compare this government and its performance record with the previous one because our emotions won’t tolerate such a comparison, as is the case in South Africa, too.
I would like to direct the reader’s attention to the poor, illogical remark of J Asheeke regarding other governments which would also not allow unrestricted immigration into their countries because of the high unemployment they face, which drives their people down the demonstration road. Do we not have an even higher unemployment rate, and do we not have strikes and demonstrations aplenty, too? And why do we, notwithstanding this sad fact, allow thousands of Asian manual workers into our Namibia, contrary to ‘these other governments’? Is our doing so not a ‘crime’ we should squarely put onto the Minister of Home Affairs’ doorstep? Our workers are crying; does government help them by closing our borders to the Asians, did anybody hear such a story? Trade and industry is crying for educated people, what do they get?
I think it is not necessary to respond to each point Asheeke raised in her essay, which in fact is a badly disguised praise-song for something not praiseworthy. We have to remind her that as citizens, as fathers and mothers especially, it is our first duty to criticise in a sharp and nagging way everything that is wrong in Namibia. We owe that to the nation and to our young democracy. Without criticism, there will be rapid stagnation and retrogression. Nothing else! I would like Asheeke to toe the line of the critics, to use her eloquence and high intelligence for the good of us all. Now she is working for the wrong people, for those who abuse our system for their selfish short-term needs.