Before we left primary school ‘Mariabronn’, the class teacher asked us individually about our ambitions. We were given three choices. The standard answers were doctor, engineer or school teacher. School teachers had a special place in society then. There was this answer from one of my classmates I will never forget. His first choice was politician, then policeman, failing which he wanted to be a thief. When our class teacher asked why, his answer was if he could not make the law, he would enforce it. If both failed, he would try to break it.
In Namibia, engineers, doctors and accountants have their own institute or association that governs the conduct of its members and regulates and develops the profession to promote honourable practice and professional etiquette. Even bakers have their Institute of Baking to instil professionalism and nurture passion. I wish to propose a system of accreditation for Namibian politicians to provide them with credentials and some standards to which they should conform and maintain. Hopefully, the Speaker of parliament will give this proposal due consideration. I think Namibians would agree too.
An article in the Association of Accredited Public Policy Advocated to the European Union (EU) said: “Today, we need men and women of strong principles and courage whose interest in being elected to positions of public trust is to serve their country and make sure their generation leaves a better world to the next one.”
We need men and women of faith, integrity, commitment, practicality and common sense who view high political office as a term of service and not for personal gains. We need politicians who have a deep sense of responsibility and passion for national interest, and who get things done, pursue just policies and do well for the community. The job’s prestige and the public’s respect should ideally be in a politician’s “remuneration package”.
We have heard ministers/politicians making absurd, silly and immature statements especially in the last couple of years. We have politicians who have no qualms about spewing loud racist speeches at the slightest provocation and getting away with it.
Though I have lost contact with that classmate of mine, I do hope God did not fulfil his wishes and he did not end up becoming a thief.