This Week In The Khuta – Reminiscing about the past, when so much is wrong now
Namibia celebrated 22 years of all the good stuff this week; peace, economic stability and freedom. We paid homage to the heroes and heroines who fought for the country’s independence and sacrifised their lives so that we can be free.
Most people certainly partied again as if there was no tomorrow – some people are still suffering from hangovers. The day off certainly came in handy. But as we celebrated independence on Wednesday, there were hundreds of Namibians who were not in a celebratory mood.
Personally, I didn’t feel like celebrating anything after reading a report that a single mother of five lost her house because she failed to pay a monthly instalment on her car. I have to congratulate that specific bank for putting another family on the street. Why didn’t they repossess the car instead?
If this was a once-off case, maybe it wouldn’t be so bad, but this happens almost every day. There has been plenty of cases where people, mostly those who are already poor, lost their homes because they fell behind with payments to the banks. The houses are often sold for more than what the people owe.
Then there is the issue of a few hundred people illegally settling on land in the Tseiblaagte residential area in Keetmanshoop. The municipality threatened to demolish their homes and the governor of the Karas region, Bernadus Swartbooi had to intervene. But what also surprised me a little is that this group refused to re-settle at the Ileni township, because they didn’t “want to stay with the Owambo people” and because the area was prone to rape and murder. What happened to ‘One Namibia, One Nation’? And if the area was indeed crime prone, why are the local authorities not addressing the issue?
And for arguments sake, why is nobody threatening to demolish or evacuate the Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Tjekero Tweya from the communal farm he fenced off in the Mukwe Constituency in the Kavango region late last year?
Aren’t there people who are more in need and as a member of Cabinet, doesn’t Tweya earn enough to buy a farm? Apparently he sees nothing wrong with fencing off land which is also being used by other farmers in the area for grazing purposes.
So this week, I am again on my one man (or woman) crusade against poverty. I know I’ve exhausted the topic a bit; actually I am ‘abusing’ it. But as I said before, this problem is not going to go away by itself and seeing that government will be spending another N$500 000 on a feasibility study for a new Parliament building, I don’t think our politicians are taking the issue seriously. Why do they suddenly need a new Parliament building and what about the renovations being done to the one that they are currently occupying?
Yes, as a Nation, we have achieved much and we can be very proud that we are better off than so many other African countries that are plunged in war or where millions of people die of hunger every day. But as we celebrate independence and these milestones, we should also remember much is still to be done. People need jobs, housing and education. We need to develop. Let’s not spend the next 22 years reminiscing about what our founding fathers did. We should, instead celebrate the achievements of the current government. Don’t live in the past, work for a better tomorrow.