Namibia @ 22 and still counting...

By by Sibangani Dube
March 2012
Editors Note
In the Namibian calendar, 21st of March is the most important day as the country celebrates its independence. In essence, all roads will lead to the Hardap Region as they are this year’s host for the Independence Day ceremony.

For Namibia to gain independence, it took sacrifice, determination and a never-say-die spirit in the face of the colonial wrath. Eventually, a new dawn came through the gallant fight put up by brave sons and daughters of our motherland. Indeed, their blood waters our freedom to date.

In this month’s edition, we take a closer look at the decentralisation and local government for this is where the measure of true democracy and delivery are made visible.

This ties in well with our theme this year being, How Close is Government to its people. It is in the name of the people that we went to war; it is the people who provided us shelter, food and vital information, which helped a lot of our combatants.

It is sad to note that decentralisation is moving at a snail’s pace, thus denying the full bouquet of benefits of having Government closer to home. To add salt to injury, only two ministries (ministries of Education as well as Works and Transport) out of the existent 21 have made some progress in decentralisation.

We are aware of the challenges but surely, solutions should have been found to chart the way forward by now.

Our exclusive interview with the Hon. Governor Katrina Hanse-Himarwa confirmed our assessment that indeed that decentralisation and the state of our local authorities are in a very bad state and some action has to be taken... soon.

Time is running out and we risk wearing off the patience of peace-loving Namibians. The Arab spring may be very far from us but the underlying factor is that we should learn not to take people for granted.

As a nation of just over two million inhabitants, we should be asking ourselves where we are missing the mark, with all the wealth this country has.

Namibia is highly regarded as a country, which is rich in policies but when it comes to implementation, the plans seem to get stuck somewhere.

NDP 4 has just been launched and the question is, will it make any difference? Vision 2030 seems to have been relegated to political correctness as we seem to be far from meeting the goals.

Lately, tribalism has begun to rear its ugly head and if left untouched, it has the potential of reversing all the benefits of our Independence.

As the media, we have always played our part as the fourth estate by highlighting the successes and challenges as well as coming up with recommendations and I am not sure how serious we are taken, especially the editorials.

Lack of accountability to the electorate is worrying as the electoral system directs loyalty to the party and not the electorate. This probably calls for the review of our electoral laws (as we are yet to see MPs really getting dirty, to make sure they get the votes) to bring to an end the MPs and councilors who surface during election periods and vanish once they get the seats.

As a young democratic nation, we need to be filled with vigor and energy for the challenges ahead; find the inspiration on our book review (A Nation is Born) for this edition. We are a great people and a great nation; we have a rich history and we deserve much better.

Listening to one another is something we should take to heart. Somebody once said, “The reason why God gave us two ears and one mouth is so that we can listen twice as much before we speak”. A learned friend also said we are tired of ‘NATO’ (No Action, Talking Only).

What we need is confidence; confidence is the currency, which we need to run the race. We, therefore, need to be energetic and zealous to drive this great nation to newer heights.

Also through this edition, the public should be rest assured that bad days are over at Social Security Commission (SSC) as Kenandei ‘Kapara’ Tjivikua is firmly in control of the once troubled parastatal. NDP 4 has just been launched and the director general is set to do things differently this time. Kaitira Kandji has taken over as Director of Marketing and Comunication at the Polytechnic of Namibia after his tenure ended at the MISA regional office.

Food lovers can also find out where to spend their time with family and friends here in Windhoek, as they have what it takes to keep your independence celebration menu rolling.

On our health section, we bring you Kaposi Sarcoma; one of the opportunistic type of cancer-associated diseases in the advanced stage of HIV/Aids. For our motoring enthusiasts, BMW never ceases to amaze and you can look forward to a good read on the new BMW M5. It is the hottest cookie on the road right now at a cool N$1.1m.

Enjoy your read and Happy Independence, Namibia. PF