Political analyst Joseph Diescho has called on Namibian youth to unite in purpose and start asking the right questions to the political elite instead of condemning them-saying it is the only way to transform their fortunes. Speaking at one of Affirmative Repositioning’s (AR) critical consciousness dialogues this week, Diescho called on Namibian youth to unite as “disunity” among them only plays in the favour of the political elite, who do not “have their (youth) interests at heart”. “Young people, it is time to ask the right questions, ask the right questions, avoid condemning questions, the youth have a vital role to play in society. Don’t insult the older people. There was an old man who used to say to his children ‘don’t raise your voice, improve your argument’ …so the youth should please improve their argument,” advised Diescho.
According to Diescho, the Namibian education system, health care system and human relations are not working and that it was their collective responsibility to correct the “wrongs” of the past. Diescho further pointed out that the tradition whereby some Namibians see themselves as “more Namibians” than others should be uprooted. “We are all the same, created in the image of God, to set forward the purpose of God and we cannot wish away one another. Whether you are rich or poor, tall or short, significant or insignificant, we belong in one house, this is the only place we can call motherland,” lamented Diescho. Diescho further warned the youth to guard against disunity amongst themselves saying it does more harm than good as it only serves the political interests of those who are in power. “Please unite young people, don’t allow people to disunite you because it is in their interest to see young people disunited. Tate Sam Nujoma always says, when people are united, nothing can beat them. By unity I don’t mean seamlessness or oneness in our reasoning processes but unity were we must disagree to agree with respect and dignity,” Diescho said.
Moreover, the veteran scholar said credit must be given to those who liberated the country for they have done their part but criticised them overstaying in power. “Old people have done what they could do and we must love and honour them for that. But there comes a time when their time is up. In fact, for many of them, time is already up, many of leaders our leaders are out of ideas, out of touch, out of context and out of shape,” charged Diescho. Furthermore, the academic also warned the youth to be both patient and strategic and should choose their battles wisely. “Choose your battles, do not allow people to choose you in the furtherance of their own struggles, be careful that you choose your own friends. “Because if you allow other people to choose you, they use you, they abuse you, they misuse you, overuse you, underuse you, they confuse, they accuse you and they lose you because you are no longer of use to them,” explained Diescho.
In a recent interview with The Patriot, DTA president McHenry Venaani accused President Hage Geingob of choosing wrong platforms to “address his political critiques” as opposed to addressing issues of national importance. When put to him what he thought on the way the President addresses his critiques, Diescho said he “understands” Geingob’s frustration but described it as “disrespect” to those individuals who come out in their numbers to listen to the head of state. “There are moments when he (Geingob) has to deal with these things and not all the time, not in all platforms. When he attacks people in wrong platforms, it’s a sign of disrespect to the audience, they don’t come to hear these things,” lamented Diescho. With reference to the recently held Independence celebrations in Rundu, Diescho said the President could have used the occasion to send a message of “hope” instead of attacking individual persons. “Like in Rundu, people came to hear inspiration, how they can make their lives better, how they can participate as Namibians. “They came to hear what the future holds, (but) to use the platform to attack individual is not helpful at all. I understand the frustration, but it’s a system that is not well oiled,” Diescho said.
Moreover, with the Swapo elective congress edging closer by the day, it rather an “unfortunate” situation that Namibians find themselves in terms of service delivery, according to Diescho. “It is unfortunate that today, our body politic has moved away from service delivery to survival at congress. People should govern as if congress is not happening, that is a party matter, the nation is bigger than the few thousand people who will meet at congress, it’s self-serving,” concluded Diescho.