By Apostle Marson Sharpley
WE cannot rely on, accommodate and entertain only the people we like (although we must not ignore like-mindedness) to make Namibia work dynamically. We have to identify patriotic, committed, ready, willing, able and capable people among us, to drive the country forward.
We need people who are not simply in it for themselves or for a quick buck.
The sustainability of democracy depends on the full participation of the citizenry, based on incentives made available through robust trading in a conducive atmosphere and the collection of revenue supplied by this trading.
Our internal Swapo Party democracy is very robust, but many times the outcome is threatened by the wrong people getting the right positions, because of gatekeeping that starts at branch level.
Gatekeeping is where those who have political ambition, but lack the required skills and ideological depth, work to keep those that have all this out of the branches and districts, so that their own political aspirations and economic ambitions might be secured.
This is a pity because then both the party and the country suffer, as a result of shrewdness by ill-equipped and at times dubious characters, who have come into our ranks, not so much to serve, but rather to gain access to high office for personal reasons.
As ridiculous as this sounds; it is a fact, and is happening before our very eyes.
Many who one knows, who might have been sympathetic to the liberation struggle, but were self-preserving or scared to have been involved during the dangerous times of the revolution, are now portraying themselves as ultra-radicals and claiming to be and to have been what they are not, even including their ethnicity, whilst we work at building One Namibia, One Nation.
Some of us who married men and women from Namibia some 30-odd years ago, and who were part of the liberation struggles of our countries, such as South Africa, did not have to be invited or politically conscientised, as we knew that wherever we found ourselves, we belonged to progressive forces that were fighting for the liberation of the country, and in this case SWAPO.
It was never a matter to even ponder or consider; it is what was expected and inculcated in us through political awareness as Africans. We are now fully naturalised citizens of our adopted nations and our children are born in our adopted homes and our political consciences continue to inform us to work for the common good and betterment of our society, even in the face of adversity, where one’s individual contribution is directed at adding value to the collective by being politically active.
Nevertheless, having said the above, we welcome new members daily, but hope that in spite of their social or economic standing, they will uphold the democratic principles of the Swapo Party, by getting to know how the party functions before being driven by ambition to ascend into high office.
High office requires servanthood, over and above material incentives and status, which should be mere rewards and not the main aim of seeking this high office.
Our press is also at times guilty of exaggerating the importance of these public offices, whether in the political arena or the public service, and this fuels unhealthy ambition and greed, based not on the desire to serve, as much as the desire to be served, and to enjoy a well provided for life, whilst lacking the capacity to deliver and perform in those positions.
I am not discouraging ambition and the desire to attain a high office. I am addressing the manipulation and abuse of the democratic system and networks, by people who do not have what it takes to attain high office, and later become an embarrassment to themselves, their families and the nation, because they short-circuited the system.
There is no right-thinking, hardworking human being who does not desire the finer things of life; but then at what expense?
Financial struggle to the point of poverty is a terrible experience, especially when you see undeserving characters around you accessing the niceties of life unscrupulously, just because of connectedness and sloganeering.
The reason I am delving into this is because there is a small group of unscrupulous people, who now want to employ the method we used against the unholy, racist apartheid regime of making the country ungovernable. The difference now though is that this happens to be the people’s government, led by a respected internationalist, in the person of His Excellency, Dr Hage Geingob, with a highly skilled, caring and well-disposed, active wife as our First Lady.
There continues to be an unrelenting agenda to destabilise the country, by deliberately politicising matters of national concern that are dear to the hearts of the people, and trying to deliberately create the impression that the Swapo-led government under the leadership of the incumbent president and his peers does not care about the fate of the people.
This is of course far from the truth. It is tantamount to cheap politicking by this small but economically strong group of people among us, who have informed themselves that it is their God-given right to control the wealth of this country, through attaining high political office. We welcome them to come in, but not for the reasons I mention, but instead to come and serve the nation and assist us to realise the full implementation of NDP5, the Harambee Prosperity Plan and Vision 2030.
I personally have no quarrel with anybody, but I refuse to stand back while certain people work around-the-clock to take command and control of national assets, by directly working at demeaning and trying to belittle a gentleman in the presidency, whose only sin is that he has the best interests, through noble intentions and good skills, for the future of the nation of Namibia.
I truly love and respect all our elders (even though I have also now qualified to be an elder two years ago), because it is through the fruit of their hard work and determination that we are able to live in a non-racial, free and democratic Namibia.
Rather than desire their quick disappearance from the scene, I prefer to subscribe to the proverbial narrative that Joshua needs the wisdom, insight and experience of Moses to take the nation forward. We need the institutional knowledge and capacity of our elders and we need to show them honour and respect.
Whilst I share and minister the Godly principles of the Bible, as a man of the cloth, I speak also as a trained cadre and child of the revolution, who spent enough time in detention in South Africa’s prisons, and who actively participated in both the liberation of the country of my birth and my beautiful adopted country, Namibia, in which I have grown up to be a man.
For too long, many of us who know each other and who worked under very dangerous conditions inside Namibia, especially in the early to mid-1980s, either in the trade unions, the student movements, the CCN or Swapo, have stood by watching people we never knew, claiming to be what they were not, and lacking the necessary ideological depth, totally misrepresenting what we are aiming to achieve, which is a better and more meaningful life for all, regardless of race, tribe, colour or creed.
The disdain and abuse of the proletariat masses by a few elites, who became elites through government tenders, is now totally unacceptable, as it is being overtly practiced, assisted by insulting our democratically and duly elected leaders.
I have written this to address us, the people, who must work collaboratively to economically free our nation.
I have deliberately ignored the fact that after almost three decades, we still have two societies existing parallel to one another in our country – a struggling black majority and an economically wealthy insulated white minority society. We will address this in due course.
Namibia is not a banana republic and nor is it the farm of a few individuals. Namibia is a fully-fledged and internationally recognised country.
It is a nation characterised by sociological diversity, made up of people who all desire a better life.
We have to learn to iron out our differences, change our attitudes towards one another, forgive, hold hands and move forward with a sense of purpose and understanding that there is more which unites us, rather than divides us.
Long live the Republic of Namibia!
God bless us all!
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015