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Is substandard the new norm? Headlines reveal shocking incompetence at local authorities

Is substandard the new norm? Headlines reveal shocking incompetence at local authorities

By Geni Dee

Let’s be honest, our dear national rugby team has literally no chance of actually winning the World Cup. However, this does not deter us from fervently cheering them on with pride and with unremitting hope. And it certainly does not stop them from playing their hearts out every single time.

Now if only we can apply this passion to how we conduct ourselves in everyday life.

To put it plainly, everything sucks at the moment. Our economy is in shambles, companies are closing or retrenching and the drought is worse than ever. Everywhere we go people are depressed and their outlook is negative.

I was discussing the current economic status of our country with a colleague who commented that substandard seems to be the new norm. If you just read some of the recent news headlines; “No Local Authority Councils Achieved Unqualified Financial Audits”, it is hard to argue.

These finding were presented at the recent Public Sector Internal Auditor’s Conference, where the theme was Does Accountability Matter? I worry, because if the question even has to be asked, this country might be in even deeper trouble than I thought. (Just on a side note, is it some cruel joke of the English language, that unqualified actually means good in this scenario?)

Accountability is taking responsibility for your actions and decisions and it is the backbone of every successful organisation. When you are accountable you take ownership of ideas and projects and try to find solutions when problems arise.

Alas sometimes it seems as though our government prefers taking the spectator route to our country’s problems, just watching as things slowly fall apart. This sends a message to all Namibians that mediocrity and apathy are tolerated.

Apathy is the killer of dreams and if we fall too far down this spiral our economy might never be able to recover.

In times like these I like to consult the history books to gain some perspective. How did people survive the Great Depression? The thing that struck me from all my research was the undercurrent that only those who kept being optimistic were able to face the challenges. They overcame their hardship with hard work and ingenuity. And in spite of all the suffering then, people still supported and encouraged each other. So the message here is hope, hang on to it.

We don’t have to accept anything less than greatness. It is a mind-set and as long as we stay positive and try and do better there is still hope. Shakespeare perfectly summed up how I feel about Namibia: “And though she is but little, she is fierce”. Let’s use that fighting spirit to make Namibia great.


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