There is little to say against this. The basis of his words is right, charity is any person’s duty. However, and that is my question, why should the old need charity? If the so-called veterans – ‘veteran’ is a notion without sharply defined borders in Namibia – can get the state’s monetary help in abundance, then why does this state not look after all the aged better?
Why do the aged in Namibia get that lousy pittance nowadays, which is less in buying power than the pension of apartheid South Africa once was? Are the old also not ‘veterans’ in more than a single way of understanding? Did they not work for Namibia their whole lives for small wages and salaries? Did they not build Namibia; did they not prepare Namibia’s future? Did they not fight for the children of Namibia with both their hands and minds? And now, being old, what do they have left?
Inflation robs them of the little they had accumulated, high food prices, indirect taxes and taxes on their savings, fees everywhere as well as the curse of old age, illness, weakness and loneliness ruin many of them. And the little they may be left with is often used up by their children and grandchildren. President, do not speak about charity if you speak about the old, instead give them a better old-age-pension, they earned it. With more money, they can live a decent life, with more money they can fend for themselves. Without, they are less than animals because they are robbed of their human dignity.
Yes, many of the young and strong care better about their animals and cars than about their parents and grandparents. This is a fact! And let me remind you, President, that the so often maligned BIG [basic income grant] will make a great and positive difference in Namibia for all the poor. BIG will cure many illnesses of our society, will heal many open wounds. Before you give the OK for the rather indecent proposal to raise the salaries of the politicians with 31 percent, you should direct your government to introduce a raise for the old and to implement BIG.
The old and the poor are not greedy – but they suffer because of the negligence of your government! Please, President, change that! That will make you the people’s president and as such, you will than enter the history books of Namibia. If not, you will certainly enter the books as one of the ‘fat cats’ of this country! The choice is yours.
Old and Poor Namibian