What is the moral significance of bad (morally depraved) political leadership on a society’s progress?
Public office holding comes with many ethical implications which many in the Namibian context have marred with stomach politicks. Appointing such persons to the office, simply leads to bad leadership, in which nothing is done except to benefit the individual or their political ideologies.
This kind of politicks lead to public uncertainty, symptomatically represented in the loss of hope. Such leadership may engage itself in drafting policies, create programmes and be operational, but in reality exists only to create structures that entrench uncertainty.
Operational by essentially dysfunctional. The initial outcome is not only political corruption but a deep moral corruption that uses public resources to advance an elitist agenda. Pawning the public that wallows in the misery caused by such moral poverty.
Twenty-nine years down the road, the average Namibian lives with great uncertainty.
Unemployment is rampant, decent employment scares, university degrees merely decorations, poverty is rampant and living standards are on a steep fall. At present there’s no political speech that would inspire any confidence that somehow things will turn out right. Definitely not under the present leadership (both opposition and ruling).
Let me give an example of the moral corruption of the leadership that is holding the nation back. Before and since the establishment of the Anti-Corruption Commission, government has lost billions of state funds – yet no one has been arrested. The same men and women who have headed institutions that lost so much money are being recycled to be governors, permanent secretaries, ministers, ambassadors etc. In fact, the ACC literally serves as the handmaid and handyman of aiding these corruptions by endless investigations.
The country is faced with a lack of affordable and decent housing, forcing hundreds of thousands to resort to shacks. Politicians drive to these slums to hold political rallies, followed by catering services, under protection by gazebos, served bottled water, while the masses languish in the heat or cold.
They would rather spend millions of dollars to campaign in the slums than provide affordable housing. While these informal settlements lack basic services such as clinics, playgrounds, toilets, street lights, clean water, schools etc., the national budget would rather slice these limited services to the poor, while continuing to provide politicians with luxury.
When the benefits and comforts of the elite are slightly affected, we call it economic recession. Majority of the citizens’ lives are recessions since they were born and the leadership they have voted lives to ensure that the poverty cycle continues. Poor people don’t go through a recession, their very lives are multiple versions of various recessions.
And it is time we all face up to the truth, that regardless of various sociological factors, morally bankrupt leadership is the key reason for our socio-economic challenges.
This isn’t a critique of Tate Geingob’s administration, it’s a culture of moral failure, which has not been rectified. And the current administration is but a child of the culture established by the new elitism.
It is the culmination of elitism, done without any cunningness to it. The promise of dealing with corruption, has led to the shielding of corrupt public leaders, who continue to serve in their roles as long as they remain loyal supporters of the serving president. In the meantime, their ministries and departments are falling apart, barely are doing anything except hide in the shadow of the president.
This moral bankruptcy has just demonstrated itself this week. At a personal level, I feel quite embarrassed that Tate Geingob made the issues of shacks a national emergency. A good call in itself. However, the poor whom he is now appealing to as election-bait have lived in these conditions, since he was prime minister. In his first term, he witnessed the land fights and struggles, demolitions of shacks by town councils etc and did nothing. Sir, with all due respect, this is inhumane and unethical to appeal to the poor people’s greatest need and use it as your campaigning line.
Finally, the current leadership, by its own doing, has violated its own moral mandate to lead and protect society. Its moral failure to uphold the interests of the public has resulted in continued social suffering of the poorest.
The onus rests upon us as citizens to call these men and women to account for the way they manage the country, a republic shouldn’t be allowed to operate like a kingdom.
We only have this one country and we must do our part by calling those whom we’ve voted, to give proper accounting. Bad leadership violates the hopes and dignity of the most vulnerable of society by weakening the structures that should have served to protect them.
Disclaimer: These are my own opinions and do not represent the views of my employer or its associate.