By Victor Angula |
A town or village rises or falls on the back of its leadership. Good leaders take a town up to greater heights of social and economic achievement, while bad leadership kills the potential of the town.
And one of the towns with potential is Okongo.
Okongo was proclaimed a settlement in 1999, and in 2015 it was proclaimed a local authority and so it got the status of Village Council. And now Okongo is working to becoming a town council.
Moving from ordinary village to settlement, and then from settlement to village council was mostly due to two factors: leadership and potential.
Good leadership takes a community to higher levels. But potential also played a big part. Okongo has much more potential than some other places across the country. The economic potential is huge. Okongo area has people who are hardworking, possibly some of the most hardworking people in Namibia.
Okongo has many advantages. It’s possibly the only place in Namibia where crop farming and animal farming come together to make a combined agricultural hub pregnant with economic potential.
Okongo is also strategically located geographically.
With great leadership all this potential can be turned into an economic advantage for the benefit of the town growth and human development.
But then something worrisome came to my attention a while ago, when the chairperson of NCCI Okongo Branch related the difficulties they have had dealing with the leadership of Okongo Village Council.
Mr Frans David went as far as saying the CEO of Okongo Village Council is dictatorial and vindictive and has no interest in the development and economic progress of the indigenous inhabitants of Okongo.
Although Mr Wodibo Haulofu, the CEO, spoke to me at length, saying the accusations from Mr David were personal and politically motivated, I think there is more to it than meets the eye.
Mr Haulofu said he was going to send a written reply to the accusations leveled at him and his leadership, but he failed to do so. He just became cagey and possibly unwilling to put his defence in writing for fear of it being used against him.
That is not exactly the behavior of a leader who is committed to transparency, responsiveness and accountability.
But well, I should let it rest for now, because this is a time for electioneering.
After elections I will then have to come in again and start okufinyafinya around the activities of Okongo Village Council so that not only can they pull up their socks in terms of good governance and accountability but also so that they may make a good use of the Okongo potential.
In the photo: Okongo central business district.