Namibia at 31, what a disappointment

By Victor Angula  /

On the 21st of March 1990 (31 years ago) the flag of a new Namibian nation was hoisted for the first time and signified an end to the long and bitter struggle for freedom.

For those who don’t know, a lot of people died and a lot more suffered so that this country may become an independent country, a country of which the people elect their own leaders and the people make their own laws and determine their own destiny in the modern world.

When this independence became a reality there was so much hope, hope that a new dawn had come, hope that the beginning of a new day had come, hope that poverty would be a thing of the past.

But now 31 years down the line, the people’s hope has been dashed. The majority of the people are disappointed by the fact that not much has changed after their independence and freedom from colonialism and apartheid.

Of course there are some people who are satisfied with the performance of Namibia over the last 31 years. But they are in a minority. Even before independence there were also some people who were happy with the situation of apartheid, either because they were beneficiaries of the abnormal situation or because they didn’t know any better.

If you look at the squatter camps mushrooming across the country over the past 31 years, you can clearly see that sensible people cannot be happy with such a situation.

Namibia is a rich country naturally; but the wealth is being used by a few people, including the politicians. Over the years of independence the country has not produced a leader who is capable of leading the people out of poverty.

Every five years we have been electing people who only become office administrators who are themselves selfish and only care for the wellbeing of their children and grandchildren.

The founding president failed to live up to the expectations of the people. Today his children and grandchildren are millionaires. The second president too failed to do better. Only his children and grandchildren became well-off. The current president, who is the third president, and his wife are multimillionaires.

These are the leaders of people who have known nothing for the last 31 years but a life of living in shacks.

That is the one thing which has disappointed me so much.