By Catherine Sasman
“I would very emphatically say that Namibia is becoming just another African country,” declared academic and political analyst Joseph Diescho, at a packed public lecture on Monday evening.
Despite the relative peace and stability experienced in the country since independence, Diescho argued: “There is not enough evidence and leadership” to suggest that Namibia is not declining into a state of chaos many African states are characterized by.
“Africa is a paradise of decay, a paradise neglected and abandoned and not taken care of,” he said.
“Namibia cannot escape the bottlenecks of African politics,” he said.
After doing what he called a “pedestrian research” – or garnering public opinion from the streets – he said that the majority of Namibians spoken to felt that Namibia is moving “in the wrong direction”.
“We have never recovered from celebrating our independence,” he said, arguing that there is no futuristic outlook.
The biggest problem, he said, is that there is a serious “leadership deficit” and leaders in the executive “become monarchical”, adding that Members of Parliament and other leaders at regional and local level need training to execute their responsibilities prudently.
“There are a myriad of political managers and no leaders; this is the politics of the belly,” he said.
Diescho criticised Namibian citizenry for not developing a mindset to develop its democratic projects it has adopted as encapsulated in Vision 2030.
“We are disconnected from the project and the personnel that run the project are not schooled to believe in alignment with its policies,” he said.
“For Namibia to escape the horrors of Africa, we must all get involved; democracy works on the basis of citizens that participate,” he said.
One area where Namibia repeats the malady of Africa, he said, is misunderstanding “how meagre” its resources are.
“Money is spent on bureaucracies,” he said. He argued that the Cabinet is bloated with its 27 members – as many as the South African Cabinet representing 46 million people.