Maintaining peace and unity is an art

Maintaining peace and unity is an art

• Apostle
marson sharpley

I have observed that there is heightened anxiety in people lately and mostly because of the desire to acquire material possessions and to live a comfortable life. The emphasis seems to have shifted from qualitative to quantitative where more, driven by selfish greed, is seen as better. This has resulted in people no longer caring for each other.
I wonder sometimes even though I see the answer to my wondering, did it really have to take the hateful ruthlessness of apartheid colonialism characterised and driven by detention without trial, institutional racism, torture, disappearances, murder and long prison terms to make us unite as people organised in our revolutionary organisations with one purpose in mind being, the restoration of our human dignity through the attainment of political freedom through universal suffrage?
It seems we negotiated our political freedom very well.

However, was it perhaps at the expense of economic freedom or were we so eager to gain political freedom that we neglected to fully apply our minds to what was on the table and at stake economically?
The ruthlessness between people fighting for positions and power seems to know no boundaries and is escalating by the day.

I see us doing and approaching things very contrary to the way we used to do them and the way we were trained to do them during our struggles for freedom. I see conflict and strife spreading like cancer among people who should be holding hands in unity and building the nation.

The unprecedented disrespect and vilification of our leaders even as elders in our midst is truly worrying, especially towards our President, Vice President, the Founding Father and the Former President. We see some people going around and claiming to be fighting for one of the three statesmen and yet destroying their legacies in the process.
The President and his peers are seasoned revolutionaries, diplomats and politicians whom we can trust and emulate in the way they practice real politics using wit and savvy.
Please help me here if I am missing something.

I would think that they would instead prefer to see us as their followers, sons and daughters, holding hands and striving for peace and harmony through unity and building the nation.
We have to be able to sit around the table and iron out our differences and where we are unable to reach amicable solutions or agreements part ways in peace instead of calling press conferences and decrying what has befallen us and blaming others for the wrong decisions we took.

What happened to the days when, even if people differed, dignity and the decorum of respectability reigned?
What happened to the days when we were transparent with each other and accountable at all times? What happened.
I think I might know the answer to the questions I have put above, money happened, materialism happened, positions happened. It has all happened at the expense of giving up the way we used to treat each other and the way we did things respectfully.

Were we really supposed to reach a stage where we indulge in the most demeaning strife and conflict at times as though we lack political and even intellectual depth? Has one’s ability to buy loyalty, friendship and votes become greater than the ability to love, respect and celebrate each other?

Has the war for positions become more important than improving one’s ability to perform in that position? Are we really supposed to accept what seems to be systemic corrupt practices in both the public and private sectors as the norm for our country? Are we supposed to allow connected people to close the rest of us out of transacting business in this country because we refuse to “okay the game”?

The escalating aggression and conflict between us for political and high public office in our society is directly linked to business transactions and the good life. It has absolutely nothing to do with the advancement and betterment of the lives of the poor voiceless masses of Namibia. It all has to do with unpatriotic, selfish greed. This is definitely, I believe, not what this was and is supposed to be about.

Are we living the life of a society described by George Orwell in his book ‘1984’, where through entitlement, others see themselves more equal than others? You look at the boards of directors of SOEs, the awarding of lucrative tenders, the signing of deals with SOEs, it is the same people over and over again. When do other deserving and capable nationals get a chance to also transact business in the proverbial Namibian House.

It is this entitlement that is one of the issues fuelling conflict in the country because it now spills over into these same people feeling that they are entitled to hold high political office at the expense of cadres who have solid political track records. And this is one of the main reasons that there is an increase in conflict between people who should instead be united.

The comedy of this sociological tragedy that is playing off in front of our very eyes is that we all have the propensity to be ruthless, corrupt and selfishly greedy, but because we were well trained and scholars of human behaviour and are dedicated to building a respectable nation state by respecting and preserving the legacy of our leaders, we stand down and we mark time as we march to the rhythm and the beat of transparency and accountability.
We need the voices of reason to become louder in government, the church, civil society and especially political arena before it is too late and we find our nation engulfed in political violence.

Anything left to itself will lead to chaos and mayhem. We have to address the issue of strife, conflict and political intrigue head on.

Competition is good, it is healthy and powerful for advancement and development, but it must not lead to hatred, strife and conflict to the point where comrades who should be working together start working against each other. I still adhere to and believe in ONE NAMIBIA ONE NATION. God bless us all!

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