Berseba-Poverty Eradication and Social Welfare Minister Zephania Kameeta says political leaders should refrain from personal fights and rather focus their energy on fighting poverty.
Addressing residents of Berseba who were affected by the rainstorms last week that damaged several shacks, leaving many residents homeless, Kameeta indicated that although such natural disasters cannot be avoided, leaders should work together to best assist the affected people, which he pointed out is impossible to achieve with the current political infighting.
He stated that people, especially those in leadership positions, should stop pointing fingers at each other, but instead ask themselves what they have done to contribute to the well-being of the nation, noting that the war against poverty should be fought on all fronts.
“This is a war that should be fought by all of us, with all weapons except guns and bombs, but it doesn’t help if we are moving in different directions or opposing directions,” he said.
He urged those present to stop with the tendency of pointing fingers from afar, saying it is time for everyone to get rid of that mentality of being an outsider and start doing their part, in order to make a difference.
He called on everyone to cease with infightings and concentrate on nation-building and working together for the greater purpose of building a united and developed Namibia for all.
“Let’s set our differences aside and join hands and work to defeat poverty,” he said, adding: “Let’s stop with these little conflicts that don’t bring anyone anything.”
In an earlier briefing that Wednesday, Kameeta also advised the regional leaders to go an extra mile to help their people when faced with such natural disasters.
This is after former //Karas governor and current Berseba constituency councillor Dawid Boois accused the current governor, Lucia Basson, of not responding promptly to the disaster, further claiming he was the most successful governor the region has ever had.
Some also felt that the bureaucratic systems don’t allow the regional leaders to act swiftly in cases of emergencies, as they called for decentralisation of powers.
Kameeta responded to the leaders’ concerns, saying he has realised leaders are more policy orientated and not action orientated, noting that it’s worrisome that when a disaster happens the first thing leaders think of is what the policies do not permit them to do, instead of how they should go about helping their people despite policies and rules being in place.
“I’m not saying we must disregard the policies, but they should not be a stumbling block,” he advised.
He said a negative reaction to disasters is in itself a disaster, stressing that this is why poverty eradication is hard, as the mind needs to be liberated first.
“We need poverty eradication of the mind – you have a disaster here, but your first reaction is you can’t do anything because the policy doesn’t allow it. I plead that we change this thinking,” he said.
About 80 households affected by the rainstorm received food.