With less than two months left before Namibia holds its fifth presidential and parliamentary elections, all the political parties that will contest the upcoming elections are now in full campaign mode, including jokers like the National Democratic Party.
So far, the current rallies and manifesto launches have been held under peaceful conditions and the media has given coverage to all the political parties including some that in all honesty do not deserve any coverage.
May the current peace continue to prevail until election day. Namibians should continue to show the world that we are indeed a mature democracy despite being independent only for the past 24 years.
This is the time for political parties to sell their policies to the electorate, but one cannot help but notice that the opposition parties seem to have a strange take on what campaigning means.
They seem to have made it their mission to denounce the ruling party and its policies, instead of telling the electorate how they will change the lives of Namibians for the better if they vote them into power.
We were surprised when the SWAPO party vice president Hage Geingob announced at the party’s first star rally in Rundu recently that his message will be about SWAPO’s achievements over the past 24 years and not about promises to the electorate.
Sometimes as a people, we take the peace and stability that the country currently enjoys for granted.
We are also quick to forget the progress that the country has made under the SWAPO Party led Government, and that is why we now agree with Geingob’s simple message of reminding people of the achievements gained over the past 24 years.
While it is true that a number of areas exist where the current ruling party could have done better, it is also important that we must never forget about the party’s various achievements over the last 24 years.
It is easy for the opposition parties to criticise the Government of the day while bringing nothing of substance to the table.
Take the DTA’s McHenry Venaani’s message during his party’s election manifesto. He criticised the SWAPO led Government for sending failed Grade 12 students to study medicine in China and for having caused poverty in the country, among other accusations.
While he was hitting all the right notes to the gullible voter, one could not help but notice that most of the things that he promised the electorate are things that the SWAPO party are seized with right now, for example, free tertiary education.
Venaani spoke about providing laptops powered by solar power to all school going kids in an effort to bridge the digital divide.
What utter rubbish! Promises of free laptops to every school-going child while also providing free education is nothing, but cheap political rhetoric.
Instead of high-sounding promises, we would like the political parties to tell the electorate how they are going to increase Government revenue, which will enable them to fund their grand projects and plans.
We want them to tell the electorate how they are going to create jobs to reduce the country’s high unemployment rate. We also want the parties to tell us their vision in terms of maximising benefit from the country’s natural resources.
This is not too much to ask. They cannot bombard us with promise after promise without telling us how they will achieve such promises. The electorate deserves better because anyone can make a promise that one obviously won’t keep when voted into power.