Remember not to forget.

Last week, every day, the front page of The Namibian newspaper had the Mayor of Windhoek’s name on it. The Namibian people were outraged; taking to the media in all its forms, to voice that outrage. Protests and legal action were advocated for, discussions were held and tantrums were thrown. The people are angry and they were making sure everyone knows it. My question is however, for how long?

How many things have caused outrage in Namibia, especially over the last few years? We, as a people, were outraged about the B1 butcher, we were outraged about baby dumping and about passion killings. We were outraged about the numerous reports of large amounts of public funds going missing and the reports on tenders being awarded to companies under questionable circumstances. We were outraged about the informal settlements being demolished in the middle of winter, about this atrocity, about that… and then we forgot.

I’ve heard recently, that Namibia is a very complacent nation; that we simply take what the powers that be feed us. Sadly, I’m beginning to agree. When something outrageous happens, we respond appropriately… for about five minutes and then we forget.

I believe that the reason there is so much corruption and blatant disrespect for the Namibian people by the office bearers who have been entrusted with the governance of the state, is because there are no consequences, not really. We, as the Namibian people are not aware of our rights and our power and thus, do not hold them accountable. So, people do whatever they want, whenever they want, with our taxes. We post about it a few times on our social media and then something else happens and we forget about last week’s issue.

I believe the only way there can be change in Namibia is through systematic, well thought out action; through the education of the people on their rights and the amount of power they have; and through the coming together of experts in all fields to create a sustainable plan of action to address the numerous outrageous issues facing the Namibian people.  Recently, there has been a movement called “Bring Down the House” that is trying to do exactly that about the land issue in Windhoek. I commend the initiators of this movement because only through more initiatives like this will we see change. We need to do something because those who should, aren’t. We just need to remember not to forget.

– Ndapewoshali Ndahafa Ashipala

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