Economic vandalism, such as the defacing of houses built under the Mass Housing Scheme, the defacing of public schools, state hospitals and clinics, desecrating of tombstones at Heroes Acre and other national institutions funded by the taxpayers should be taken in a very serious light.
Those found guilty of these crimes should be punished severely to deter other like-minded plunderers, who each year cost the fiscus dearly through the repair of the damage caused.
It is beyond us that some sadistic individuals derive ‘pleasure’ by deliberately destroying private or public property, as was the case at Keetmanshoop where some mentally challenged individuals vandalised mass houses that are being funded by law-abiding taxpayers. Government is going to spend over N$6 million to repair the damage caused to the mass houses at Keetmanshoop at a time when there are too many priority areas competing for these scarce state resources.
In recent weeks, Telecom Namibia had its telecommunications infrastructure targeted by these economic saboteurs who, apart from causing financial losses, disrupt communications at great loss to the economy that now relies heavily on telecommunications.
In previous incidents, these hoodlums have been known to deface road signs and they even plundered toilet pots at public toilets.
In Kavango, one former learner went on a rampage breaking classroom windows and this unwise activity happens, especially at the end of each school year when some learners in their shortsightedness vandalise school property across the country.
This culture of saying, “it is a government building or government property”, should come to an end because government belongs to all people and it goes out of its way to construct clinics, hospitals, schools, roads and other infrastructure used by all its citizens, including these vandals.
Regional councillors, regional party mobilisers, community leaders and church leaders should embark on a nationwide campaign to inform the public about the cost these vandals are exacting on the economy. Namibia cannot afford to be spending huge amounts of money to repair the damage caused by vandals. Where possible, the culprits should be held financially liable. Toll-free lines should be set up in each and every town to blow the whistle on these vandals who should bear the cost of their shenanigans. Known vandals should be named and shamed where possible. We should review our laws to ensure a strong message is sent out to the community to discourage them about desecrating any government or private property for that matter. There is no place for vandalism in our civilised society. Vandals should be punished severely and should not be treated with kids’
Plain and simple, vandalism in whatever form is criminality and it has to be confronted head-on.