Not the worst year, we dare say!

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Today marks our last edition of the year and as a watchdog of the happenings in our country we believe that, comparatively speaking, this was not the worst year for our nation.

For long spells of the year, Namibians have been whining and complaining about an avalanche of issues – most of the time rightly so – but sometimes such cries have been largely misplaced.

Think, for example, of the manner in which armchair critics tore into President Hage Geingob for declaring that he will donate 20 percent of his salary to charity for education purposes.

Even personal decisions such as this have drawn criticism in some quarters, which gives a clear indication that ours is sometimes a nation of crybabies and unjustifiable moaning.

True, we continue to face monumental challenges – drought, poor access to health and education, the land and housing crisis, you name it.

But there were also shining lights such as our national football team winning the regional Cosafa Cup, Paulus Ambunda winning (and successfully defending) a world title as well as progress made so far in alleviating the country’s housing crisis – thanks to activism by Affirmative Repositioning and President Hage Geingob’s show of willingness and maturity towards the same subject.

Affirmative Repositioning’s threats to lead mass land occupations nationwide sparked fears that the country was heading towards civil strife as observed in most African and indeed non-African countries worldwide, but wisdom prevailed to prevent such possibility.

We are indebted to ourselves as a nation for observing the law, despite the obvious injustices regarding land, and for putting our peace and stability at the forefront. It goes without saying that peace and stability are the biggest assets our country has, and the foundation on which future prosperity would stand.

The peaceful transition that saw President Geingob ascend to power speaks volumes of what has become a normality in our country since independence. It was particularly soothing and exemplary to see those who served as presidents of Namibia before seated under the same roof on March 21 – a rarity in African politics.

But it would be a travesty if we concentrated only on the brighter side of things and left some thorny issues unaddressed. Clearly, there are major concerns about how certain things are done nationally.
Such things, whether real or imagined, demand that we pause for a moment of reflection and work out lasting interventions.

The President’s mantra of ‘No Namibian should feel let out’ has created hope among the citizenry and those in institutions of power must assist him in its actual realisation.

Patronage, discrimination and alienation are but some of the common practices that defeat the inclusivity message of the President. The homeboy tendencies in both the private and public sector, where jobs, tenders and other benefits are awarded on the basis of who is friends with those with decision-making powers, leaves a dark spot on 2015.

Reports of government and other public officials staying in hotels while they have a housing allowance is worrying and it is a shame nobody seems to really care about such practices.

Other than those, we can confidently say that we did not fail in 2015. This year must serve as a learning curve of how we can improve things in 2016 and beyond. We wish our readers, advertisers and indeed the entire nation a Merry Christmas and a Prosperous 2016.

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