Silencing voice of the First Lady by conformists

Dear Editor,

The debate on same-sex marriages has reignited the role and powers of the First Lady. It has also revealed how poisoned our society has become. Largely, what the First Lady says or does not say, has increasingly become the object of attention and scrutiny.
One of the main difficulties First Ladies have to face when they enter public life is the absence of a clear definition of their function. It is largely shaped and defined by the respective occupant.
Monica Geingos has defined the role in her image to support her husband’s agenda. She did so fully appreciating the enormous potentialities of the position without breaking rules or overstepping “boundaries”. Along the way, she gets confronted by conformists as well as traditionalists who disapprove of what they decry as an “illegitimate exercise” of power.
To be fair, First Lady Monica Geingos has always demonstrated her strong need for freedom of action but also as a supportive and helpful spouse.
The First Lady has acted as a social advocate and champion of social causes – from sexual reproductive health to youth empowerment. Her work and opinions should be commended. Each one is entitled to an opinion. When she joins a public debate, it is because she really believes that everyone should be heard – not just those with loud hailers.
Effective governance is the first pillar in HPP. It’s essentially about compliance to relevant legislation and reviewing such laws to respond to the needs and aspirations of the citizens.
The primary essence of the Law Reform Commission is to reform laws. Abolishing apartheid laws which clash with the constitutional order is a key part of their mandate. Is the law reform commission supposed to be solving unemployment?
There are some among us who believe the FLON is supposed to be seen at social functions by her husband’s side and not heard in policy debates. That has changed and it will continue to evolve in the future.
Social media has changed how opinions are made and how we view public policy. Her crime – if it is crime – is to support the view that originated from the Law Reform and Development Commission and the Ministry of Justice.
Geingos has always had opinions about policy and has served as a moderating voice and shown compassion for those who are unable to speak for themselves. We must therefore speak openly about issues without delving into insults.

Emma Kantema-Gaomas
Windhoek