The apparent lack of trust between members of the public and politicians continues to draw a thick line that has resulted into a “us versus them” scenario.
Most analysts presume that declining faith in government grows out of other underlying trends.
Namibians have far less trust in government than they did years ago, something which Swakopmund regional councillor Juuso Kambueshe attributes to “the way politicians behave”.
“It is important to ask these type of questions, we need to interrogate. Maybe our standards are not where it should be or maybe it’s the quality of the work we do. If we[politicians] do not behave well it can cause distrust. When I was mayor of Swakopmund I would often come up with ideas and we agree as a Council, but as soon as a certain segment of the public oppose it, my colleagues would turn a blind eye and make it seem as if it is a ‘Kambueshe’ thing. When leaders are not singing the same tune it breeds distrust,” said Kambueshe during an interview this week.
Kambueshe said the community also has a role to play when it comes to holding politicians to account.
“People in government give out inconsistent messages which creates confusion. We had the situation of the Chairperson of National Council going with an official car to Cape Town, the Anti-Corruption Commission investigated the matter and presented their findings, only for the finance minister to emerge with contradicting information. How do you expect the public to trust you when such things happen?” he said.
He added: “Parents in households have different views but they present a united front in front of the children and deal with the differences later. The same approach must be adopted by government.
The former mayor also indicated that battles amongst politicians is another factor that causes the loss of trust from voters.
“When we participate in a process, the one who emerges out on top must be supported by everyone.
Now we have a situation where there is too much sour grapes and some people go underground to undermine the winner, such things should not exist,” he said.
“People do not believe politicians anymore. When you see people complaining about unemployment a lack of opportunities, our job must be to empower them to be in a receptive position when it comes to opportunities,” he said.
Kambueshe reminded politicians that “you do not become a leader by force, you are the one that ask people to put you in power and must be held accountable.”
“Respect cannot be earned when politicians do what they want instead of the will of the people, therefore we need to start living up to the expectations of the public,” he said.
Kambueshe, who was arrested last month on fraud and theft charges involving millions, is currently out on N$50 000 bail. He appeared in the Swakopmund Magistrate’s Court, and his case was transferred to the Windhoek Magistrate’s Court in Katutura.
He did not dwell much on the court case this week saying “it is sub judice”.
He however indicated that he has trust in the justice system and that his name will be cleared.
He will return to court in July.
Kambueshe, is accused of committing the fraud and theft while he was still the mayor of Swakopmund between November 2013 and November 2015.
The warrant of arrest states that the crimes were committed in the district of Windhoek during this time. The application for the warrant was done by a yet unnamed public prosecutor and the court document identifies an investigation officer.
Media reports suggest that a land deal between Kambueshe and a Chinese consortium was the source of the dispute.
The case involves the sale of a certain property measuring 10 000 square meters, located in Mondesa.
Reports indicate that the property was registered in a closed corporation and as a principal Kambueshe sold his member’s interest to the Chinese businessmen for N$7, 3 million.
The Chinese businessmen allegedly paid Kambueshe an amount of N$2.5 million but the transfer of ownership in the closed corporation never occurred and it could not be transferred into their names.