Namibia is not a peaceful country

03 May 2019
Author   Eliakim N Silvanus
Our older leaders always point to the fact that there is no war in Namibia and claim that we are living in peace.  But, I read somewhere that the lack of war, does not mean peace.  Look at what is happening to us.
  Killing, rape, assault and other horrors have become everyday occurrences in Namibia, a supposedly ‘peaceful’, democratic country with only 2.5 million people.  Is this the Land of the Brave or the Land of Crime?  Our leaders need to wake up to the fact that far too many people do not respect life, limb and property, unless it is their own.  What future are we building when we continue to let things come down to this selfish level?
Innocent lives are lost on a daily basis with no solution in place to put an end to these killings. What happened to the days where people showed basic human concern for one another or, at the least, left people alone to live in peace?  Now there is rarely a night without screams, gun shootings or the sound of the police or ambulance siren.  After nearly 30 years of independence, is this the vision our leaders from the past fought for?
For those of us (the majority of the people) living in the ordinary suburbs and basic neighbourhoods, the world we are living in now is such a mess, unlike the time of our grandparents. Though the boot of apartheid was on their necks, social interactions within the communities were not as violent as they are today. Perhaps because there was one unifying goal –freedom- people saved their anger for the apartheid system, rather than attacking each other. I don’t know.
But, I do know that now, heartless people seem to find it so easy to end the life of another person without thinking twice.  Death seems to not mean much to these cold people living among us. Most people murder out of anger, as they want to unleash their hatred of themselves, others, or the world, onto other people. However, that is not the main focus.
I believe that most young Namibians who are the victims of killing and doing the killing, do so mostly as the result of their inability to handle relationships, their insane drive to get money at all costs, and their abuse of drugs and alcohol. 
The other day an old man was hacked with a panga by a young person.  I felt so surprised by my own emotions. I wasn’t be able to say anything after reading about it.  Things like this are so senseless. 
It seems to me that news on death is everywhere and all the time. A little baby died in a shack because the father had abandoned the family and the mother was out at a shebeen.  Then there are so many stories of men killing their girlfriends and wives.  Fights and beat downs happen constantly; people kill over N$20!  Even military soldiers are getting in on the violence game by beating up unarmed people.  A man was just convicted of murder and sent to jail for killing his own children. And the list of nightmare stories goes on.
How can we better our country with all of this going on?
How can we handle the situation of so many people who are depressed and angry, hungry and frustrated?  What do people do when they develop thoughts of ending their own lives or someone else’s?  Families are failing; people don’t seek help for their worries and problems.  So, how do we cope?
Government, churches, traditional authorities, employers, and civil society need to WAKE UP.  Stop being so comfortable in your nice homes and driving your cars and think about what is happening to the majority of the people. Today it is us killing each other; tomorrow these heartless people could be at your gates and walls. 
Fellow young Namibians, let’s stand strong and face the truth of living life as a human being, we should not let anger lead us into immoral actions that make us regret.
We want to enjoy the peace and stability that people keep saying is the case in Namibia.  Let us care about life; care about each other and start to be concerned about not causing someone else pain.  Peace can’t happen unless we make it so.


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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