Our liberation struggle heroes went into exile to fight the injustice by the then apartheid regimes. The aim was independence, equal opportunities and social justice to mention just a few.
Yes, political independence was achieved in Namibia and South Africa. Our liberation struggle fathers took over from the apartheid fathers, promises were made, and the general public had high hopes in our government. We expected to be elevated, to a certain extent, from pools of abject poverty.
As I write this, in the aforementioned countries, citizens are frustrated. In Namibia, students are promising to erect shacks around campuses due to skyrocketing hostel fees, students are promising and sending out warning signals to institutions of higher learning that should there be an increase in tuition fees, there shall be varsity lockdown.
Unam students petitioned for the exemption of students, who owe the institution, from writing exams, with timetables torn up. Land issues remain unresolved in Namibia. We have schools having to close for two days because teachers took to the streets to demand a salary increment. Generally, Namibia is faced with labour unrest.
In South Africa, students are locked up in cells for demanding free tertiary education through a #FeesMustFall campaign across the entire higher education sector. Schools are burning each day, tear gas is dispensed each hour, and stones are flying left, right and centre between students and the police.
Varsities are heavily guarded by fully equipped police officers. Courts are full with cases of politicians. Investigations are constituted every day. In fact everybody is taking everyone to court.
All of the few nonsenses I could mention above are most of the time a result of arrogance of political leaders – the very heroes of our liberation struggles.
Namibia and South Africa share a lot in common. Neighbourhoods, which were built during apartheid, have tarred streets both in Namibia and South Africa. In Namibia, look at Wambo Lokasie and Soweto in Windhoek, or Katlahong in Otjiwarongo. They were all tarred by the apartheid government. Today much of this only happens in upmarket suburbs.
Apartheid fathers are watching and laughing at us as we remain at each other’s throats. We are fighting one another. What is interesting is that our governments sometimes employ similar tactics to fight its own people. We have betrayed the wills and wishes of those who lost their lives for true independence. We have betrayed the true aim of independence.
How long more shall this arrogance go on? It is not too late to redirect and redistribute the concentration of efforts to a good livelihood of the people. Leaders, especially political leaders, owe these nations the true leadership that bear prosperity. The nations need aggressive leadership; one that prioritises the expectation of its electorates, one that cares about the economic status of its country.
Let us reorganise ourselves collectively and save these countries from collapsing. Let us prove to the apartheid fathers that we can propel these nations to prosperity. Let us give them the sense of unifying leadership. We can do it!
* Kasino Ka Namukweshele
Read full story on New Era Newspaper Namibia