Assembly of national shame

By Chris Jacobie

A few minutes of political madness and disrespect – never seen before by opposition members – turned the hallowed house of law into an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of tolerance and political decency.

It was saved by the President, Dr Hage Geingob, and target of insults and political assassination by not leaving the NA-chamber, as most leaders would have done for which nobody would have blamed him.

Namibians must now wonder what is worse… to have youthful disruptive anarchists posing as democrats in parliament or to have youthful ministers and managing directors in jail who corrupted the country, stole its innocence and robbed the old fishermen of their livelihoods.

Most other mega corruption suspects, money launderers and forex scammers, prophets and rhino poachers are young Namibians. The new revolutionaries not too long ago also were the best Swapo cadres and the future of the ruling party.

This is not representative by far of the Namibian born-frees who as respectful children contribute, just as inspired adults, to the economy, the great conversation and nationhood.

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Namibians cannot stand for political gangsterism because nobody will respect a nation that cannot respect itself, nor their leadership, no matter what their preferences.

The rebels of ego just have to consult the same social media platforms they abuse to insult and incite to realise that they have crossed a Namibian line.

If their strategy was to irritate Dr Geingob out of parliament, they failed, because unlike analysts and political strategists who clearly are not in touch with Namibian grassroots, Dr Geingob might have mistakes, but will never abandon his constitutional duty.

Reasonable Namibians with values call this leadership, and attacks under immunity they call cowardice.

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The conversation that populists and anarchists import from elsewhere should remain elsewhere because Namibia is like nowhere else.

The show of verbal assault and insult against Dr Geingob is nothing short of the same abuse that is a Namibian curse where children abuse and assault their parents and grandparents to get their hands on social grants.

What happens outside Parliament and its surroundings is even more significant than what happened inside.

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The building and surroundings of more than a 100 years ago are symbolic of the Namibia of today that it might slip the minds of many.

The engineer who oversaw the construction of the building more than 100 years ago was a young German-speaking boy from Otjimbingwe, Gotlieb Redecker, who spoke most, if not all of the Namibian indigenous languages, because of the friends he grew up with in the then remote outpost.

During his studies in Germany in the 1880s and 1890s, and after 1888, he was classified as a Damara in Germany, because his father had lost his birth certificate and Gotlieb declared to the authorities that he was from Damaraland. With the roof-wetting ceremony and a toast by Dr Hintrager, he expressed the wish that only ‘good thoughts and good laws leave this building’.

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Every stone and every grain of sand was carried and laid by Namibian hands of all races. One hundred and eight years later, it is still a pride of Namibian construction and ingenuity, unlike foreign ‘expertise’ that constructed buildings with youthful Namibian tenderpreneurs that are crumbling down in less than eight years.

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The statues of three Namibians from different backgrounds and social standing, Hosea Kutako, Kaptein Hendrik Witbooi and pastor Theophilus Hamutumbangala grace the steps and a few metres away, the Founding Father, Dr Sam Nujoma, holds the Constitution aloft in front of the Independence memorial.

Even the statues must bow their heads in shame.

The fatal mistake and final arrogance of the attack dogs on Namibian values is to ignore that Namibians have more values and respect that they can ever try to destroy.
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Young Namibians of Independence, going to school amidst a Covid-19 crisis, are the stormtroopers in their thousands.
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Lastly, it is not surprising, that the very same anarchists who cheered them on are now vilifying them on the very same platforms that they rely on. They are the victims of their own undoing, simply because most Namibians value respect and human dignity of others more than they care about their own.

Because, it is Namibia and Namibia is ours.

*Chris Jacobie is Head of Media at Trustco Group