MANY Namibians who have entangled themselves in a disempowering system of thought are alarmed by recent remarks by Minister of Poverty Zephania Kameeta on the Afrobarometer survey results recently released by the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR).
The survey found that ordinary Namibians are of the opinion that government is performing poorly in the social sector in general and in poverty eradication in particular. Kameeta, like any self-serving politician, took exception to the opinions of ordinary Namibians retorting; “it is clear that [Afrobarometer] has an agenda to turn the people of this country against the government, and for the citizens not to work with the government in place”. For the purpose of clarity, the Afrobarometer is an Africa-focused independent research network measuring public attitudes on economic, political and social matters.
Methodologically, it uses internationally accepted best statistical practices and has been recognized as a gold standard in Africa and across the globe. For those who are statistically sound, it is worth noting that the survey margin of error is at +/-3%. Since the Minister’s training is limited to Psalm 23, with no formal training in basic numeracy, statistics and political behavior, it would be naïve to expect him to understand the survey. He must thus be forgiven the same way we forgave his ministry for wrongly adding 30 000 people on a Food Bank beneficiary list for years. It would seem that the Minister is of the view that Afrobarometer is a natural or juristic person. How else does one make sense of this remark: “Afrobarometer… we as a government will not be discouraged.” His estimation must be that ‘Afrobarometer’ must be watching him on NBC 20h00 news. He must immediately be told that ‘Afrobarometer’ was not watching.
Why are Namibians finding it hard to view Minister Kameeta as part of the self-serving political elite? The answer lies in a disempowering system of thought. Because Minister Kameeta was a Bishop, he enjoys some sort of exceptionalism amongst the unsuspecting who always use his moral and religious positionality and history to rationalize his conduct. Even when he conducts himself exactly like others, the unsuspecting would find a way to understand and justify his conduct. It is this religious identity that disempowers many in discerning reality – he is a politician.
This relationship is similar to a woman who refuses to leave an abusive relationship. Despite the amount of beatings, she still believes that her boyfriend will change, one day. If she prays enough and keep tithing, dear boyfriend will abandon alcohol and bad friends – the perceived root causes of violent behavior.
The perpetual physical bruises on her face – for which co-workers are concerned – represents a tiny problem compared to the good life she will enjoy when the original self of her husband returns – the romantic, caring, compassionate and attentive love of her life she once had. More often, this ‘love of her life’ does not, and will not, return.
He is gone forever. Similarly, there are still those who believe that there still exist a Kameeta of the 1986 poem ‘Why, O Lord’. They still believe there is a Kameeta of Basic Income Grant. Like an abusive husband, who was once caring and romantic, many do not realize that Kameeta of 1986 ‘Why, O Lord’ is gone – might never return. What we have, and will continue to have, is Kameeta the politician.
Those who are refusing to accept must listen to Prince Mashele: “what is more important is to accept that what is gone is gone. The children who refuse to leave the graveside after burying their father who was a breadwinner are bound to succumb to starvation. It does not matter how violently you sob, the dead will never return”. Indeed, the Kameeta of ‘Why, O Lord’ is long gone and replaced by Kameeta the anti-statistics and anti-research.
Those of us who rejected the disempowering system of thought have long understood that Kameeta is just another politician. That he was previously a Bishop is a mere historical reference the same way Hifikepunye Pohamba was once a long serving Swapo Treasurer. Like other political elites, he has ensured that he is part of the political elite that is sharing resources amongst itself at the expense of the masses. He chairs Merlus Development Trust owned by a fishing firm Merlus Group.
Under his chairmanship, he must be preparing a new fishing rights application. Those who disagree must wait for the release of successful companies. Like other elites who have given themselves farms, Minister Kameeta has a farm where he retreats to recite ‘Why, O Lord’. It is called farm Shadeck – measuring 11 000 football stadiums in Hardap region. A whistleblower recently contacted me on my social media pages with the following; “Hi Job! I have been trying to get hold of you but your number is not reachable. There is an issue at Ministry of Poverty Eradication and Social Welfare. The tender for the funeral benefits for elderly and disability grant Beneficiaries which was awarded to Hollard Insurance is coming to an end come 31 July 2018.
The Permanent Secretary has been pushing as a cost saving measure for this benefit to be affected and paid direct by the Ministry; however Kameeta and his team want to extend the contract with Hollard! This could have saved the government around N$ 48 million. The Deputy Director indicated above co-owns a company that is in an agreement with Hollard and they have a contract outside the one with the ministry where they are apparently getting their share of the deal… They are now forcing for the PS to be transferred to other Ministry for no reason and I think they will succeed in transferring him! I think the Hollard contract really needs to be reported to ACC before these elite get away with it.”
Kameeta is just another politician. Like other politicians, he will attack any research that is not favorable to him and the political elite. That is what self-serving politician do. There once existed Bishop Kameeta who wrote a Poem ‘Why, O Lord’. There now exists Minister Kameeta, the chairperson of Merlus Trust, owner of Shadeck farm and a darling of Hollard Insurance. He is just another self-serving politician.
Job Shipululo Amupanda is a decolonial scholar and activist from Omaalala village in northern Namibia. Find him on twitter @Shipululo
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015