Bravo Haufiku

15 May 2015

Decades have passed since John F. Kennedy made his famous statement, “My fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.”

Many of us, driven by an entitlement mentality, believe that all of our country’s problems can and should be resolved by the Government.

We always find it convenient to blame the Government for every little problem in our country without really looking at what we can do as citizens to help solve some of society’s challenges.

It’s very rare for the media in this country to write glowing tributes about those in leadership positions in the public service as our civil service is normally associated with rot and corruption.

Many in the public service have been suspected of lining their pockets at the expense of the general populace.

While attacks on those in leadership positions in our Government may be viewed as cynical, very few people have shown a dedication to public duty worthy of any praise.

That is why the patriotism shown by the new Minister of Health and Social Services Bernard Haufiku deserves special mention as his operations on patients is truly the epitome of selfless leadership.

A relatively unknown until his appointment as health minister in the new Hage Geingob Cabinet, Haufiku is proving to be the proverbial new broom that was desperately needed at the ministry that has been struggling with a number of operational challenges.

May his visionary and exemplary leadership continue.

By operating on patients in the remote town of Khorixas, the minister is putting the spotlight on challenges being faced by the public health sector, particularly in the remote districts.

Many of our brothers and sisters have died being transported to far away hospitals with better equipment and personnel to be operated on. Imagine how many lives could be saved if these patients could receive medical attention closer to their homes.

What the minister has done, and hopefully continue to do, should inspire other people in the public service to offer their time and services to those who really need them instead of sitting in air conditioned offices pretending to be working.

We hope his work will inspire other shameless parliamentarians who think the august house is their cash cow.

The minister’s actions should also work as inspiration to others in the private sector to offer their time and services to the needy, whenever their schedules allow, without any monetary incentives.

Imagine what the country would be like if we can all selflessly contribute to society in a small way.

Teachers can once in a while volunteer their services in informal settlements, lawyers can offer their services to those who cannot afford legal fees, and so forth.

Such acts will go a long way in making Namibia a better place to live for all.

We salute you comrade minister for your dedication to public duty and for setting an example that all of us should emulate.



The Windhoek Observer is an English-language weekly newspaper, published in Namibia by Paragon Investment Holding. It is the country's oldest and largest circulating weekly.

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