The 6th Namibian Parliament has hardly been in session for a couple of days and the first and next thing one hears is a plea from some of the honourables that they be provided with accommodation, as if they are the wretched of the Namibian world who have been shelter-less.
A plea and a cry that has got nothing to do with the plight of those they are meant to serve but with their own welfare and interest. What a beginning?
Of course, there’s nothing wrong for the honourables to be and show their own concerns with their own welfares. Nor would one wish to see their respectable representatives wallowing in unbearable social and economic conditions that would ultimately mitigate against them properly, effectively, dedicatedly and unselfishly serving their people as they should. One would really have an understanding for the genuine plight, of especially new members from outside Windhoek, who may not have the necessary wherewithal to provide self with accommodation. More so, in view of the fact that being newcomers to Windhoek, in terms of habitation, they may genuinely not have the necessary wherewithal for accommodation.
In fact, ordinarily, Parliament should have – based on the experience of the plight of previous honourables in this regard – envisaged such a situation and to have made the necessary contingencies regarding accommodating the needy new members until they can find their feet on the ground in Windhoek, be it in terms of accommodation or otherwise. Other than this, ordinarily housing should not be a matter for the State, particularly not for those, like the honourables, who can provide for self in this regard based on the level of their remunerations.
Certainly, compared to many other wretched in society, members of parliament can afford housing. I am not talking about palaces but a place one can call a home and that can provide for the basics, in terms of shelter. Anything above and beyond this surely must be the choice and sole responsibility of any honourable as much housing oneself is the responsibility of each resident in any given city or town, hence the makeshift shelters that have been mushrooming in Namibia.
If housing has been an individual responsibility, to the extent that most members of society have been providing for self, one would not understand why the populace has now got to bear the brunt of such a responsibility of providing for members of parliament while they themselves have been largely left to provide and fend for self in this regard?
But there is an understanding and difference between deserving members in this regard, and those who may just want to jump on just another gravy train and start trumpeting the feathering of their own nests, hardly days before they have been in the august house. It is even disturbing that some of those joining the chorus and generally seen to be feathering their own nests, have been in parliament for years and in the intervening period must have been able to provide for self.
Simply speaking, there are equally deserving servants of the people, more deserving rather than our honourables who seem quick in being inward-looking and egoistic. One needs look no further in the case of those who may be more deserving in this regard than at the members of our uniformed forces, especially the police and army, as well as teachers.
No one can deny the fact that in terms of accommodation, these important servants of the people, have really been on the sharper end of the skyrocketing housing prices in the market that Namibia has been experiencing over the years.
The honourables must have had the audacity of the compassion at this early stage of their tour of duty, and as the voices of the downtrodden, to have to start showing that they are indeed in the august house to advance and champion the concerns and plight of the poor and not seem to be feathering their own nests. If this is a taste of the things to come, this then does not auger well for those referred to as poor.