In his workers’ day speech recently in Khorixas, Agriculture minister, Alpheus! Naruseb, has blamed the corruption committed during the colonial era as having given birth to many of today’s social ills.
He said Pre-independence corruption is “the colonial grand theft of the land, cattle and minerals of our people, and the subsequent legal whitewash which accorded these stolen goods, private property status.”
“This historic corruption is what has today caused the deep-rooted poverty, the scarcity of goods such as housing, classrooms, hospitals, industries, skills inadequacy, landlessness, and many others socio-economic ills presently prevalent in our society.”
“To address these deep-seated structural problems, we as Namibians have collectively agreed to the rationale of starting the Second phase of the Struggle for Economic Emancipation,” said the minister.
He urged workers not to be side-tracked by emotional issues away from the core issue of economic freedom for all Namibians.
He also took time to speak against “political party infightings, labour union infightings; narrow-minded tribal and racial affinities and hostilities among ourselves as Namibians; and constant blame-shifting and accusations which are all in contradistinction of our nation building agenda, to the overall objective of attaining Economic Freedom.”
“A classic example of side-tracking from the core mandate of pursuing Economic Freedom is the current fruitless discourse of heaping the blame for all which is economically wrong on the Government.”
“This discourse is ahistorical, and is creating the incorrect impression that the Peoples’ Government while having all means to provide the basic necessities of life to its citizens, is wilfully denying them,” he said.
He blamed what he called a “small yet media connected coterie of politically opportunistic people who seemed to have vowed to target the Government and denounce it as everything but good and competent until it is brought down.”
“Together with some media houses, and on Facebook, WhatsApp and Twitter forums this group has been chronically painting the sitting President in very dark colours.”
“Under the disguise of the freedom of speech, they daily and weekly harangue, ridicule and character assassinate the character and integrity of the sitting President, Government and the ruling Party, by misleadingly rehashing old stories or contriving fake news, to foster widespread hatred and discontent among the general Namibian populace,” he stamped.
!Naruseb said the workers will either have to try to co-exist with “this very negative narrative which is been daily engendered into the national bloodstream of our society; or alternatively, collectively we can reject this negative discourse.”
“This can only stop, if we all rally to the defense of the core values of the Namibian House, such as unity, peace, stability and inclusivity which the Government and the President stands for.”
“As the President said, we are not victims, but masters of our destiny, but some are mistakenly construing our silence for weakness,” he said.
He also took a shot at the civic society, the church, traditional leaders, the youth, elders and women for being silent.
“For example, the public discourse on the NEEEF, have been dominated by some analysts and segments of the media posturing as the civil society, and daily expounding the notion that anything which Government propose should be opposed as corruption ridden, environment destroying, costly or incompetent,” he said.
He called on the workers to “get their house in order” and make their voices heard.