12 EDITORIAL NEWS Friday, February 9 2018| | NEW ERA 208 0318 Reshuffle: An opportunity to move things Yesterday’s Cabinet some as old wine in new these events and realise that they time wondering whether they’d their jobs and many others shifted and wanted to give them liberty of individuals but that it was made Youth should come up with business proposals and projects To the Editor to get government intervention This is a good inititive the do but it is wrong at the same themselves busy and generate an enabling environment for though they tried to engage the Governor through sending him for a region and has enormous For the youth to mobilise and engage the Governor if the Governor as intervention on the Government is aware of the and the region is blessed with * Samuel Paulus Local government graduate student University of Namibia The high unemployment rate in the country is another sickness attacking our country’s development and with the economic downturn the country is facing, including Witvlei village, the challenge is further unemployment.
thought leaders Exit reparations enter reconciliation projects Page 14 President is pulling the Namibian wagon towards prosperity In two years, on 21 March 2020 to be precise, our country will embrace three decades of independence. It is an important milestone as we build our nation, foster our national identity, sharpen cohesion and pursue the daunting task of economic development. We cannot erase a century of colonial injustice. The majority of Namibians suffered under that gruesome system. Over the past 27 years, and irrespective of what cynics may seek to project, we have as a people scored noteworthy successes. Many zones of progress are demonstrable. We have united a divided nation, increased the bandwidth of our roads, widened access to education, invested in health, sanitation and other social services. We have rolled out better protection for the elderly with coverage of the old-age pension at 99 percent, and 40,482 Namibians on the disability declined from 9 percent in 2003 to 5.8 percent in 2016, and the majority of Namibians are today able to pursue opportunities that were hitherto not open to them under apartheid rule. Our successes notwithstanding, we are also going through what is without with several challenges unadorned, and which we must confront in far in quality education, health, and unacceptable youth unemployment have the potential to deepen inequality, creating a dim view of our collective future. Unquestionably, the economic headwinds continue to threaten inequality and deliver essential quality services to Namibians. With the benefit of historical hindsight, we did not prepare ourselves adequately during the commodity boom, which marked a period of sustained economic growth up until 2012. In part, it is why we are where we are today. It is why President Hage Geingob is pulling the Namibian wagon in the direction of bold reforms and actions to set our country on a path of sustainable development and shared prosperity. It is not seeking cold comfort. It is true that even the highlyindustrialised countries with hardedged governance infrastructure, and better social protection are never fully prepared to deal with sudden systemic disruptions in the global economy. We have witnessed over the past two decades the fragility of leading economies, including Japan, France, and the United States facing economic disruptions during the great recession with countless consequences for their socio-economic and political ecosystems. In light of that comparative anchoring point, it is essential for our national conversation to preface the challenges we face within the frame of the boom and bust cycles of the global economy, and crucially the experiences of other nations. Eminently, to do so is to allow sanity to prevail, for us to preserve our political stability, and for innovative solutions to emerge, and a winning nation to materialise. The growing embrace of reason and enlightened action as an objective force of lasting change, and not politics by insult and comfortable cynicism deserves special emphasis. More so, at a time when President Geingob has been appealing through words, and reminding us through actions that the crisis of the Leading from the front, the President’s call is that we learn intelligently from the crisis, and act diligently during this time of economic headwinds for our country. Through the Harambee Prosperity Plan, an implementation tool for the 2014 election manifesto of the Swapo Party, an opportunity to reform our state during this challenging period, and create a more effective government has been made possible. HPP, it should be noted is a vital entry point to create the conditions of possibility through which a better future can be secured for the class of independence, including future generations. Even when emphasising in the preface that, “HPP is not presented as the panacea that will resolve the myriad causes of poverty and deliver absolute prosperity within a four-year period”, Alfredo Tjiurimo Hengari the commitment of the President to laying a solid base for the prosperity of Namibians will continue to be total in the coming days, months and years. of poverty eradication and shared prosperity, the President grounded 2015 meticulously as the year of planning, transitioning to implementation in 2016, and rededication in 2017. The President is hitting the ground running in 2018 on the platform of reckoning, underlining accountability and urgency in governance in order to accomplish the crucial task of development and the noble mission of shared prosperity. Improved service delivery, investment promotion and seeking new opportunities in the digital economy, vocational education and training, the entrenchment of effective governance frameworks, upgrading of growth enabling physical infrastructure are signposted as key to taking government closer to the people, accomplishing the task of development and the mission of prosperity. Achieving these as the President says would entail intensifying our global competitiveness to attract investment, dealing with the land question and reforming our stateowned enterprises. President Geingob has always measured the gravity of the moment and tasks assigned to him by the Namibian people. As Head of State, he will continue to protect their interests, whilst underscoring that accomplishing these important tasks (of development) and missions (of prosperity), would require Namibians to join hands and pull in the same direction. It is the responsibility of all, in our schools, in industry and in agriculture, in civil society and in the professions, in faith-based organisations, and in government to secure a country in which “no Namibian feels left out”. It is a goal that will be accomplished. * Alfredo Tjiurimo Hengari is the incoming Press Secretary and Spokesperson in the Presidency Open letter to the President of the Republic of Namibia Greetings in the name of the King of the Church, Jesus Christ, the risen Lord. May I, Your Excellency, on behalf of family and indeed on my own behalf, that the goodness and mercy of the Lord shall follow you all the days of your life. May I, Your Excellency, also congratulate you on your deservedly and emphatically overwhelming election as leader of the governing party. To you it must have been the ultimate recognition of a long journey of faith, suffering and struggle. I am or gratuity, but rather to serve. Yes, to serve the poor, the downtrodden. Let us remember that service demands ourselves fully to the cause. You must be aware of the fact that leadership requires a tough mind and tender heart. I am reminded of a French philosopher who once said: “No man is strong unless he bears within his character antitheses strongly marked.” Your Excellency, I am writing to you in my personal capacity to express my deepest concern about the state of our nation. In this regard I am referring to shattered dreams. We, previously oppressed Namibians, who have long to an oppressive prison of tribalism and classism. Our radiant hope of a bright and prosperous new tomorrow remains a distant dream. How do we transmute this dungeon of shame into a haven of redemptive hope? Do we turn bitter? We might feel that we have reason to do so, since we are still in the prison of segregation, even though not by law. However, we must rather turn the darkness of frustration into the light of hope, so at least I believe. Optimism is on vacation. The state is cleared for hope. But, Sir, how do I tell this to a people without hope, when at times the headwinds of disappointment, sorrow, lies, corruption and tragedy beat unrelentingly against us. There is the challenge of poverty. and most recent incident that smacks of Surely, Your Excellence your crib-biting cronies earn enough, even though it does not match their performance, to pay for their own holidays and pleasures. It was with a sense of despair and utter disgust that I noticed the fact on holiday to South Africa with a government car and this despite the fact that we have an Island of wealth in a sea of poverty. This is a shame. Poverty is the biggest challenge that our government and entire nation have to address aggressively and decisively. We were naïve to believe that liberation would give expression to the inescapable moment of radical change, Metanoina, a turning around in the opposite direction; of such change Namibians know nothing. At least now I know that the price of freedom is Reggie Diergardt eternal vigilance. There is this excessive greed amongst the new (current) political elite. May I remind you of the words of that great icon, Mahatma Gandhi: “Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s need, but not every man’s greed.” I am convinced that the per diem of this provided thousands of disadvantaged salt-of-the-earth Namibians with at least one essential decent meal over the festive season. But yet, your colleague chose otherwise. Sir, in terms of protocol as Head of State you must have approved this act of treason against the poor. Please tell us you did not endorse this scandalous behaviour. The poor don’t need our sympathy. workshops just to collect allowances to satisfy this unending greed. They need concrete and workable solutions. How is it possible that so many people are poor while so few are stinking rich. It remains a blot on the soul of our nation, and our national leaders will always be held responsible for this shame; it will be their legacy. The agenda of our Government should be prescribed by the poor. They want to be people acknowledged, by the grace of God, as people living in a concrete situation against whom we have a responsibility. Living persons who challenge us because they are real. The poor is someone we must respond to as persons created in the image of the Living God. In whose cry of anguish, pain and suffering we hear the voice of God. In whose humiliation we see the suffering of the God who is witnessed deep poverty in isolated rural many people in Namibia, their primary occupation is daily survival. Forward planning is a luxury they cannot afford. What people need is a worthwhile life; not just mere existence; not just simple survival. They must be able to live out their full human potential. A great statesman President John F Kennedy once said: “If a free society cannot help the many that are poor, it cannot save the few that are rich.” Sir, just a glance at our Grade 10 and 12 results makes one to realise that our ‘education system’ prepares our young to become hewers of wood and drawers of water. I am becoming more convinced that our Government wants to prove the contrary Lord Brougham wrong who once said: “Education makes a people to govern, but impossible to enslave.” There is no denying the fact that the times ahead are going to be challenging and hard ones, but we must never lose heart. Just for the record, yes, I am unashamedly a member of the PDM [Popular Democratic Movement]. I support our youthful, visionary, gifted and energetic leader unconditionally. My leader, Hon McHenry Venaani is a gracious human being who displays a deep respect for human dignity. I am sick and tired of exhausted, compromised and visionless leaders that are long on ideas but short on actionable plans. Implementation to them remains a luxury. May I conclude with the words of Emeritus Archbishop Desmond Tutu: “The Church must speak up against injustice and violence, against oppression and exploitation, against all that dehumanises God’s children and makes them less than what God intended them to be.” Thus, Sir, I am doing what I am doing as a humble servant of the living God. God bless Africa Guide our leaders Bless all her children And give her peace. Shalom! Reggie Diergardt.