IN less than three months we will be heading to various polling stations to elect people whom we will entrust with the responsibility of taking decisions on our behalf for the next five years. We call them honourables, even though only a few of them would deserve the title through their deeds. We have entrusted them with the affairs of our town, by giving them the mandate to amongst others run the state of affairs of our town; lobby for sound capital investments and investors; influence changes in policies and laws; boost the image of our local town; consult us, the community/electorate, consistently and periodically with progress updates on socio-economic issues of concern that affects all. We also expect them to represent us.
Our hope was and still remains that they, our elected leaders/councilors, would be serving selflessly and to the best of their abilities. We expect them to create an enabling environment, which would in turn bring the prospects of job opportunities to better our living standards. It pains us that Usakos is the one town that is yet to develop. Towns like: Arandis; Outjo; Ondangwa and Otavi, that were previously less developed than Usakos in terms of infrastructural and socio-economic standards, have now grown into mega towns far better than Usakos whilst we are either stuck, or moving in a backwards direction, as if Usakos is the only town worldwide that is immune to development.
Usakos, Tses, Kalkrand, Khorixas, Onethindi, Kamanjab and Kalkveld are notable examples of towns or places with great potential to prosper, considering their geographical locations and untapped economical treasures. But instead, all these places are either moving backwards or stuck, without any visible changes having been seen in the past 25 years. Let me single out Usakos as a case study, to make the readership understand better. Usakos has a population of less than 11 000 inhabitants, of which more than 75% are youths. More than two-thirds of the youths are unemployed, although they are of mature (employable) age. Usakos is geographically located along the Trans-Kalahari Highway connecting Walvisbay and Swakopmund with the inland. There are a lot of mines, and also tourism destinations around Usakos (although the town itself would have also been a tourist attraction itself). Usakos is the one place where people from nearby farms, lodges and villages do their shopping and other errands. However, from another perspective: Usakos is filthy with litter and garbage greeting visitors from all directions; dilapidation to buildings and property is visible; we, the residents are faced by social challenges such as poverty, unemployment, substance abuse, etc. Yes, there are few of us that have ventured into trading legal or illegal substances and services as a means of survival. I know of people that matriculated or even dropped out of school more than 15 years ago, but that have not yet been formally employed.
My call to the youths of towns/places such as Usakos is to start demanding services and ask questions without favour and/or fear of intimidation. We had been lenient, considerate and patient for far too long. Residents of Saamstaan and Ongulumbashe, are you satisfied that there is only but one single filthy, roofless, door-less structure that you refer to as toilet? The Usakos Town Council doesn’t care. Matters that need urgent attention in the town are the Transnamib issue, disorganised structures, service delivery, properties and the allocation thereof and recreational facilities among others. The community has no confidence in a council that has failed to stand-up for us. Usakos is blessed with persons with a lot of academic and technical abilities, whose expertise would be vital if they are to be consulted on the socio-economic affairs of the town. I challenge the council to go to the database of the Ministry of Home Affairs and Immigration and find out who hails from this dusty, filthy, poverty stricken, under-developed historical town.
Residents are despised/hated by local leaders and their inner-circle for advocating transparency and questioning unfairness regarding the already scars resources and other corrupt practices. But the truth is Usakos can only develop if we all can stand up and start demanding and do the extraordinary. I know that there are and have been some councilors with good motives, visions and intentions, but that they could not do much due to lake of support, or because of being sabotaged, or fear. They too failed us. So, it would thus be dumb, selfish, inconsiderate and economically-suicidal for us to allow remain silent or ignorant anymore, whilst those whom we have entrusted are ineffective and are fuelled by selfish ambitions, that they cannot even petition nor march with the masses to denounce unfairness, corruption, crime, violence, favouritism, etc.
Minister Sophia Shaningwa, bring in your broom and start sweeping the Usakos town council. We demand a total forensic audit into the council’s affairs. We not wishing or planning doom on any particular individual. But, need I remind you that all that some of us have is Usakos. All we ever had was Usakos. And it is all that our children will ever have. We are all in hot pursuit of social upliftment and economic emancipation. The Central Government and the President, have been, for too long, blamed for the failures of local authorities to deliver and/or serve; but as far as Usakos is concerned, we are done waiting and/ or blaming others.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015