28 Feb 2016 12:00pm
RUNDU, 28 FEB (NAMPA) If the Kavango Region is the second highest in terms of the population in the country, why is it not second in the configuration of power structures?
Prominent Namibian academic, Professor Joseph Diescho asked the question during his public lecturer on Civic Participation and Social Justice held at the Regional Council here on Saturday.
You do not have to be a tribalist to ask that question, that's de facto. Even in the United Nations you are represented according to the size of your population.
In Tanzania, if the president is from mainland Tanzania, the vice-president is from Zanzibar, he explained to audience members who packed the auditorium to capacity.
Diescho said when Nelson Mandela became president of South Africa in 1994, he offered vice-presidency to Mangosuthu Buthelezi, a Zulu leader representing the majority of that ethnic configuration in South Africa.
Diescho's public lecture comes a week after residents of the two Kavango regions staged a peaceful demonstration, demanding that Government devise strategies to alleviate poverty and reverse the wrongs done to people from the Kavango East and Kavango West regions.
They accused the government of having committed a monumental injustice through its unwritten policy of excluding and marginalising the people of the two Kavango regions.
In their petition, the demonstrators accused the government of orchestrating a campaign to regard Kavango residents as mere, voting cows who are given crumbs from the table.
They said the exclusion of the Kavango people was done deliberately, taking advantage of their patience.
The demonstrators some wearing T-shirts with Kavango time bomb written on the back - said the exclusion experienced by the Kavango residents contradicts President Hage Geingobs theme of inclusivity.
At his public lecture attended by mostly young people, members of other political parties including the ruling Swapo Party and community activists, Diescho said it is wrong for the Kavango regions to be in the predicament, when it is in fact the two regions that produce the final victory results in elections.
The government must learn a habit to listen to civic voices, because democracy is about numbers, he stressed.
The academic further told the attentively listening crowd the days when a minister talks and no questions are asked are now gone.
The time of you accepting because the authority is saying; that is over. Please ask them questions.
He called on the Namibian nation to learn from China, stating that Chinese people care about one another.
The founding father of China told the nation to go the people, work with the people, love the people, learn from the people and to work with what they have and know.
This way, one day these people will come back to you as a leader and say thank you, we can now do it for ourselves. There must come a time, my friends, where we can say we do not depend on any one; we can do things for ourselves, the professor said.
Some members of the audience wore T-shirts with Diescho's face printed on it.