Government keeps making grave mistakes.
The government publicly commits serious mistakes and blunders out of political ignorance and arrogance. In the end, after reversing their own mistakes, they expect to be praised and thanked by the people. Apparently we must give credit where it is due. Do we owe them any?
Be that as it may, these government leaders must be told that they are not living in a jungle. They are living in a democratic state where all power vests in the people of Namibia and that the Constitution is the supreme law of the State. It is the people who vote them into power. It is the people who pay tax. It should be the people who influence the decisions, policies and laws made by them.
The Cabinet has earned itself the impunity to take decisions for the people without consulting anyone.
No wonder the decisions taken by Cabinet have to be reversed time and again at the expense of the ordinary people. The decisions are either reversed by Court through declaring them unconstitutional, such as the Stock Theft Act, the ban on labour hire through an amendment of the Labour Act and the ban on demonstrations in the country. The other decisions are directly and shamelessly reversed by Cabinet itself without any remorse or explanation to the public.
The government's blunders are, among others, the call for Grade 10 drop-outs to return to school by the then Education Minister, Nangolo Mbumba. The decision was reversed by his own junior officials. As if that was not enough, we saw the same education ministry holding a national conference only to be publicly contradicted by Prime Minster Nahas Angula. Angula stated that the recommendations which needed implementation have been contained and shelved in the Presidential Commission of Inquiry on Education.
This shows how some Cabinet members just wake up with a dream and go to implement it the next day without consulting--not only their fellow Cabinet members--but the ordinary people and Parliament as well. While we don't know what is to be done with the recommendations from the conference, we saw the Education Minister and his Deputy venturing into surprising and undercover tactics. They are now thinking of venturing into a transport business through a third party, the City of Windhoek.
The first question is the viability and the possibility of its success. Why was the Ministry of Works and Transport not involved? Why was the money--N$40 million--not distributed into students' accounts in order to pay for the transport of their choice? What shocked the public and existing transport operators is that a moratorium has been imposed on the issuance of the transport permits. Where will the 20 buses get their permits from if there is already a pending backlog of over 2000 applications for transport permits?
Many blunders continue to be committed but no tangible action is taken against the perpetrators. There was denial by some Cabinet ministers that unemployment is over 50% and poverty has affected over 91% of the people, of which 400 000 Namibians are starving. Currently, as people continue to be exposed by the media, the government reacted by availing food parcels as a solution to an old problem of people scavenging rotten food in dumpsites. This is the very government which rejected the Basic Income Grant (BIG). TIPEEG is reported to have failed to be realised in 2011.
The GIPF Audit Report has to be re-done and shelved in the State House. The Minister of Finance, Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila, has to introduce a new tax regime targeting the mining industry. A decision which had to be reversed by Cabinet. The Minister of Health, Dr. Richard Kamwi, has to order fake medicines from Cuba, only to send them back as a "donation". He reasoned that the N$18 million spent is "nothing". Can he be ordered to pay from his own pocket?
The State also had to pay the Swapo Party's bills. Prime Minister Nahas Angula, did not feel a thing as he believes the government is more accountable to the "Swapo Party" than the taxpayers and voters. The Sports Ministry has at least protested to finance the Swapo Party Youth League (SPYL)'s 'China-Africa Youth Conference'.
It is beyond logic that the government, when it reverses its own uninformed decisions, expects to be praised or thanked. I reject that! The reason being; if you borrow my bicycle and break it in the process, do you expect me to give you credit if you fix it? It is high time that the Pohamba administration is hold to account.
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|Title Annotation:||LETTERS & OPINION|
|Publication:||Namibia Economist (Windhoek, Namibia)|
|Article Type:||Letter to the editor|
|Date:||Sep 2, 2011|
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