THIS week’s walk-out from parliament by MPs from two opposition parties, ostensibly to protest the delay in the announcement of a court verdict on the 2009 National Assembly election which the parties are contesting, was a cheap political gimmick and an unnecessary diversion.
The walk-out showed disrespect for the president and a careless attitude towards the subject matter on the day in parliament – the State of the Nation address by the Head of State.
Surely, these MPs had ample time and opportunity to voice their dissatisfaction regarding the perceived delay in passing judgment in this matter. Last weekend, they took to the streets and voiced such concerns. Also, not long ago, members of these parties were invited by the Head of State, to State House, for consultations on burning issues in the country.
One would hope that they raised this issue with the president then. There are also other avenues where they could have raised this issue without interrupting the business of parliament unnecessarily.
So why walk-out on the president when he has not refused to meet these leaders of parliament? What does the perceived delay have to do with him anyway? The opposition leaders know where to lodge their complaints on this issue.
They marched to the Supreme Court the other day and that is where they should be going to seek answers about their concerns. Therefore, to ambush the president with a walk-out and placards for an extraneous issue such as this one, is simply a bad joke and silly.
On this particular day, members of these parties chose not to engage the president on crucial matters that affect the country when the opportunity arose. By so doing, they let down the country and their members. How unfortunate.
May Day or Workers’ Day will be celebrated across the globe next week. The day will also not go unnoticed in Namibia where workers are set to hold rallies to mark the day.
May Day is a time to remember the sacrifices that workers have made for the benefit of all mankind. Workers are the engine of all economies. They are the generators of the wealth that we all crave. Through sweat and toil, they bring smiles to the faces of so many – children, the elite, the disabled, the weak and the impoverished.
The elite include the rulers on whose taxes they are able to roll out massive programmes for the country and the lifestyles of the privileged few. The rulers actually derive their political power from the sweat and toil of the workers, without whose votes and taxes generated through their productivity, they would not ascend to power.
It is this special class of people that many have chosen to ignore and marginalize. Workers around the world are an endangered species. They are oppressed and impoverished even though they are the producers of wealth.
Their working conditions remain a problem, with safety at the workplace being a serious concern in some sectors.
Those at the top of the class radar who live on their sweat only remember them when they want goods and services. But come eating time, they forget about them. They choose to ignore them out of greed, while devouring wealth that they themselves do not produce.
The working class in Namibia face many problems, ranging from poor leadership and low salaries among the myriad of problems that they face. While the legislative environment has improved for the better with laws that favour workers, some employers are not helping the situation.
They continue to exploit and oppress workers despite the favourable legislation that has been passed. The leaders of the workers’ movement are partly to blame for the dire situation that workers find themselves in. They have failed the workers dismally and are unable to take them out of poverty.
We suspect that this May Day will come and pass like so many others, without bringing hope for the future. The workers are saddled with a leadership that has no desire to fight, unless the fighting is for their own stomachs. This is sad.