Dr Joseph Diescho’s article of July 17, 2015 titled “If I were the Third President of the Republic” provides a good read on what he could have done differently if he was Namibia’s third President.
Unfortunately, in his better vision for Namibia, there remains a lack of clarity and exposure on some areas.
For example, Diescho thinks that national reconciliation in the case of the Caprivi “secessionist” drama would be pursued by pardoning almost everyone implicated except the purported leader Mishake Muyongo, who would be treated differently.
Indeed, a wise man, Nelson Mandela once said, “If you want to make peace with your enemy, you have to work with your enemy. Then he becomes your partner.”
The very learned academic envisions a political climate where he would ignore the leader of the secessionist group by enticing the followers. Meaning, banishing Muyongo from being a party to the peace process over the current political stalemate, which is not wise enough.
It remains true that leaders have followers, but can also be used by their followers – not necessarily the culprit as assumed of Muyongo. Without thinking the matter over, any shortsighted policies in healing the nation could go wrong – backfire, because peace has no shortcuts.
Don’t they say “history is the best teacher”?
Isn’t this what Namibia had been trying to do for the last decade in “sweet-talking” Namibian refugees in Botswana to return home but to no avail? Didn’t Namibia experience a “diplomatic mess” only last month when Caprivian refugees on a “Go and see – Come and tell” UNHCR supported initiative were kicked out of the country?
So, Dr Diescho would still want to make the same mistake than learning from it? Ironically, for an academic, would he dictate to his citizenry on what they can talk about? A style that would be contrary to what many civilized and developed democracies wouldn’t dare to do against their own people.
Did Namibia’s renowned academic forget that people in Dukwi belong to a political party that is banned in Namibia? Wouldn’t he unban the United Democratic Party for it to get involved in Namibia’s political life? Or did he overlook some of those basic aspects essential in conflict resolution?
The point being, let people exercise their inalienable rights as enshrined in the Namibian Constitution by allowing them to think and do as they please as long as such action don’t endanger the rights of fellow citizens. That is the only way people can vent their anger and frustration than have them think of being oppressed.
For any “presidential material”, one has to get all the facts before saying anything.
With Namibia’s policy of National Reconciliation spearheaded by the Founding President Dr Sam Nujoma, no one was left out. A reason Namibia has become a shining peaceful and democratic beacon to be emulated by other African states.
Undoubtedly, Namibia’s Founding President had laid a strong foundation of inclusivity that today the current President, Dr Hage Geingob, has rebranded with the familiarized slogan of “No Namibian should feel left out”. That is what nation-building is all about! Bring everyone on board not otherwise.
Certainly, some of the ideas expressed by the academic are worth pursuing minus the import of English teachers and the so-called “brainpower” from somewhere else. Such a dependency syndrome marred with an inferiority complex is “killing” the country. Instead, Namibia could have a robust educational funding that would accord its sons and daughters to go for further schooling, research and buying into brilliant entrepreneur projects.
Lastly, if a government has not created enough job opportunities, it must not be a “crime” for it to give handouts to the needy ones. After all, even people in government live by milking the government coffers in salaries and living lavishly.
• Mulife Muchali holds a Dipl. Pub. Admin.; H.Ed. (PD); Assoc. Crim.; B. Ed. (Hons); B.A (Crim.), M.A (HSPB)