Some enriching themselves at the expense of the poor - Tötemeyer

04 Jun 2013 02:00
WINDHOEK, 04 JUN (NAMPA) - Namibia's economic, social and political order is under threat from serious gaps that have developed between the ideals set at independence and the performance thereafter, a retired Namibian politician cautioned here on Monday.
Speaking during the launch of his publication ?Obstacles to Reconciliation and Stability in the Namibian State and Society?, Gerhard Tötemeyer said the current challenge for Namibia lies in how best the country can overcome deficiencies, and thereby stabilise and safeguard its constitutional democracy.
The publication delves on the importance of taking stock of achievements and challenges, drawing a kind inventory of where Namibia stands today, some 23 years after independence.
Tötemeyer, a former Deputy Minister of Local and Regional Government and Housing, explained that racial equality and freedom marked the first stage of the Namibian liberation struggle, and the book looks at how Namibia moved from racial Apartheid-based capitalism to post-independence distributive capitalism.
?Many victims of the Apartheid policy in the past have become destructive forces in post-independence Namibia, enriching themselves at the expense of the poor, often being part of corruption - the most devastating cancer of Namibia's society,? he noted.
Tötemeyer said Namibia is suffering from a moral recession crisis, adding that this has a negative impact on the moral fibre of society.
?The concept of ?ubuntu? as it relates to humaneness, sharing and caring, needs renewed attention. Churches, schools and families have hitherto failed in their duty to provide society with an acceptable moral framework - a kind of code of ethics that can be directive and normative,? according to the author.
He said an overlap between race and class is prevailing in the Namibian society, adding that there is a gap between the black middle and upper class, and the black working class, and this also has an effect on building a cohesive and equal society.
The publication further looks at reconciliation, democratisation and deracialisation, and black economic empowerment (BEE).
Tötemeyer said the intention of the publication is to address a variety of critical issues in Namibia, particularly those which should be revisited, re-evaluated, re conceptualised, re-articulated and revised.
?It is a straightforward analysis. It is about re-thinking about where we presently are and where we are possibly heading to if not attending to the crucial issues,? he stressed.
Tötemeyer has published widely nationally and internationally on topics dealing with public administration, decentralisation, regional and local governance, policy matters, electoral matters, higher education, religious matters and reconciliation.
His previous book was published in 2010 under the title ?Church and State in Namibia - The Politics of Reconciliation?.
The latest publication will be made available in all public libraries, at institutions of higher education and bookshops.
After independence in 1990, Tötemeyer was a member of the first Delimitation Commission of Namibia, a body which infrequently decides on the administrative division of the country.
He was Director of Elections between 1992 and 1998, and became a Member of Parliament in 2000 and was appointed as Deputy Minister shortly thereafter. He retired in 2004 due to health concerns.
Since 2005, he has been Chairman of the National Housing Enterprise, a state-owned company providing housing for the poor.