The worrying state of the nation

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Recent events of social disharmony linked to dangerous tribal tensions, to the slow distribution of land and wealth (linked to high urban rentals and price of properties), linked further to the sudden and unexpected government budgetary cuts, to the large-scale labour lay-offs in the construction and other related industries.

The above-mentioned areas of extreme concern inclusive of the high economic dependency on the South African economy is further significantly contributing to the high cost of living for the masses, a situation which is sadly unsustainable in the medium and long-term peace and economic stability of the nation.

These very sad developments need to be seriously addressed with the urgency they deserve, otherwise things could spiral out of control leading towards social disobedience and disorder. Our habit of simply allowing nature to take its course without just comprehensive intervention and restitution is actually more damaging and hence calls for bold political and economic leadership to reverse the current situation and eventual direction.

Namibia is a very unique country with an interesting but highly disturbing history which we seem to ignore with impunity, hence the large-scale ignorance of its long strong historic significance and its consequential links to our cultural backgrounds, set-ups and structures.

This historic ignorance and lack of acknowledgement has hence as a result created artificial gaps of cultural and political miss-leadership and disrespect towards the true values and capability of our people – that room of international influence coupled with local manipulation for economic self-interest continues to destroy the true economic potential of the country leading to huge social disparities and poverty among the populace.

One sad reality related to the above statement is that we do not seem to have economic faith in our people, resulting in huge and medium-sized capital projects being significantly awarded to foreign entities with lame conditions at the expense of the locals. This situation has sadly without remorse led to large capital outflows that are now desperately needed by government to run its affairs. How ironic, as it will be the local citizens that will further be heavily taxed to regain the necessary funds for the government to function, with the only alternative to borrow externally.

The highly skewed nature of the Namibian economy, coupled with a dismal lack of a unified cultural patriotism towards a truly industrialised society, among others, has in recent times set in motion various events and activities that are dangerously leading to nationhood destruction instead of national economic development and social progression.

The current times are hence full of uncertainties for the masses and hence call for bold political and economic leadership with a very clear sense of purpose and direction in order to reverse the situation.

With that said, it seems quite clear now as things currently unfold in the political and social arena that the Namibian nation is actually sitting on a potential time bomb that could reverse all the gains that it has achieved over the years.

One thing for sure and actually is very sad for a young nation is that we are not being very truthful and honest with ourselves and hence living in continued denial, thinking that we are going to have lasting peace and harmony forever whilst underneath the true surface lies huge tribal and racial hatred and tension in our midst and hearts.

The current political leadership dispensation that gained power at independence had a historic duty and responsibility to create an environment that could have truly ensured that the evil of yesterday is openly discussed and that a fair and just society was created towards social progression and harmony for the benefit of all the citizens of the land.

This significant ignorance of the above aspect has hence created a huge national leadership vacuum in the present day political arena, leading to deliberate ignorance and huge intolerance that could potentially destabilise the current and future intended social cohesion and harmony among all races and tribes of the nation.

This dismal failure by ourselves to embrace true nationhood among the citizens and to prepare them accordingly for modern-day generational leadership changes across the political and economic sphere of the country, towards true indigenous economic empowerment and land delivery, will hence continue to haunt the nation for many years to come.

This leadership oversight over the years by our elders has therefore caused serious harm to the youth to enable them to, among themselves, formulate a strong bond and sense of national pride, unity and purpose, which as a consequence has now caused huge divisions and fragmentation among them. To reverse this specific trend will however, going forward, take another generation if the intended purpose is truly to propel the nation to its true potential and global success.

In conclusion, the current state of the nation needs very serious but honest assessment, acknowledgement and large-scale inclusivity, otherwise it could be heading further backward than forward. The nation is currently bleeding with so much uncertainty in various spheres of socio-economic developmental areas of interest, that if not contained and reversed could further cause serious harm to the current generation, the nation’s intended national developmental goals and its social cohesion.

• Pendapala Hangala is a
Namibian socio-economist.

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