Leadership crisis hampers development

By Victor Angula [Editor’s Comment]

If Namibia is facing a leadership crisis, the situation is worse at local governments – more so at towns in the north.

It’s such a sad situation really, that we don’t seem to have leaders, leaders who can lead us anywhere. Leaders who can lead us out of poverty. Leaders who do have a responsibility on their shoulders to guide us towards Vision 2030 if that vision has not been thrown into the dustbin of history already.

What we seem to have are people occupying leadership positions for their own sake, people who are in office for decoration. People who seem to have been elected just for them to eat from the pockets of the public?

It’s such a sad reality.

I don’t know about the situation of other regions, but the situation of the four northern regions of Oshana, Oshikoto, Ohangwena and Omusati is dire. There is just no leadership at all.

Politicians are known to be people who do nothing except for giving speeches. Politicians are famous the world over for their ability to give speeches, promising this and promising that.

But in Namibia, especially in the north here, it’s rare for a politician to give a speech. If a politician can’t give a speech, what else is he or she giving ano?

As the media our job is to facilitate communication between leaders and their followers. And communication is nothing else but whatever comes out of the mouths of the leaders.

Now what situation do you have if leaders don’t want to speak? What leadership are they providing if they can’t inspire their followers, if they have any followers at all?

If you’re the mayor, all the residents of your town are your followers. But how do you do it if a month can pass without you having said anything?

At the beginning of this year I was impressed by the Mayor of Windhoek Mr Job Amupanda who hit the ground running providing leadership to his people of Windhoek. So that I reached out to the mayors of Oshakati, Ondangwa and Eenhana asking them to give out new year’s messages to their people too.

But none of them came to the table.

Ondangwa’s Mayor Mr Paavo Amwele told me to be in contact with his town’s PRO so that she can prepare the speech. But Ms Petrina Shitalangaho wouldn’t do anything of that sort.

Ms Katarina Kamari, the PRO of Oshakati town and Mr Paulus Shilongo PRO of Eenhana, would also not provide any sensible answer as to how, why or when would their mayors produce any speeches, let alone provide any information as to who they are, what their visions are and what they intend to do since they are new mayors.

This is the situation of towns which are regional capitals. What then is the situation of small towns such as Oshikuku, Ruacana, Okongo, Okahao, etc.?

And it all points to the fact that leadership is the most significant ingredient which is missing in the town councils of the northern regions.

But everything has its time. The time to be led by headless chickens will soon pass.