Sunday 18 April 2021
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The poor man’s prophet

Like your shadow follows you wherever you go, the same can be said about poverty and crime.
I am seldom surprised about the high crime incidence rate in Namibia in recent years, in fact crime can be used as a tool to guage poverty levels in a country.
The crime stats should be our reminder that poverty is still within our midst.
Poverty is a reality that won’t go away if deliberate attempts to eradicate it are not taken, by this I do mean creating a Ministry or handing out food parcels, it has to be more than that. We need lasting solutions, not overnight solutions that are often short-lived.
Imagine walking past a bakery in your street everyday, getting that homely smell of freshly baked bread, while at home you have nothing to eat, not even bread crumbs.
Since you can’t afford it, you could resist the temptation to steal bread from that bakery for a few weeks but your impoverished conditions will soon wipe away the little respect you had for the law to feed yourself.
Eventually you will make a plan to steal from the bakery and you will most certainly find a way to fend off hunger.
I am not a proponent of crime, but I’m a realist as a far as poverty and life choices are concerned.
Most crimes occur in informal areas where our people live way below the poverty line without a clue where the next meal will come from or when nature will blow destroy their makeshift homes.
When the poor steals amongst the poor, it’s like humans eating humans because they are alike.
But then you have instances where the poor steal from the rich. This ought to be common because of the class societies we have constructed-knowingly or not.
Not that it should be condoned, but like cattle, once the grass is depleted in a specific it is forced to move to greener pastures.
Poverty has a domino-effect on society, hence crime and poverty cannot be divorced.
Of course if my mother shoplifts to feed me, then shoplifting becomes normal.
After all, when public office bearers steal from the public purse it becomes normal in the long run and the appetite grows bigger. So before we berate the poor for being a menace to the rich, we ought to remember that nature is about survival.
Again, not that I condone theft, but I take my hat off to a certain extent for those who rip off the State and start businesses that support the economy through job creation and innovation. The briefcase type need to be condemned fully, buying luxury cars and globetrotting has little positive impact on the economy.
There is need to build industries, because I’m pretty sure you will sleep better at night knowing you employ 10 people than having a multimillion dollar car in your garage. That’s humanity after all.
The insatiable greed amongst those who have access to the public coffers is beyond me, a few years back news about someone having siphoned hundreds of thousands from the State used to be shocking, we’ve now come so far that reading about millions stolen comes as no surprise anymore. You then ask yourself, when is enough enough?
The notion that only the fittest survive is abstract in this case, the reality is that only those who can adapt to a particular situation survives.
Government should be lauded for the attempts its making to fight poverty, but we are forgetting that the rich or those that are living decent lives cannot be the ones to decide what the poor need, simply because they cannot relate.
This surely can’t be too much
So until the poor are taken care of, the rich must make peace that not even their electric fences will prevent those starving from harassing them.

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