Politicians Not Above the Law

AS A nation we are quite aware of the escalating levels of poverty and the fast disappearance of the middle class, so that in a few years, we will only be left with the rich and the poor.

There are several factors contributing to poverty levels but I want to deal with the aspect of poverty caused by those in power.

We live in a nation which, since independence, has been marked with reports of disappearance of public funds and generous personalised spending of taxes.

How we continue to survive as a nation is a big mystery to me. The last few years have seen the constructing of monuments, acquiring luxury cars, increasing salaries of politicians and sending off politicians into wealth upon retirement.

In the midst of growing illiteracy and poverty, lack of proper housing, sanitation, clean water, employment etc, we have a government that has sufficient funds to spend on luxuries.

It is time we faced reality as a nation that we have politicians who live like kings and are more concerned with their own comfort than public good. There is a problem of deep-seated greed, which is continuously being sanctioned by weak policies – at the expense of poor people.

We have a government that sanctions economic fraud and politicians get away with it. A system, which despises corruption in theory, but embraces it so dearly in practise by creating fraud management systems that discriminate by protecting politicians from facing justice.

These people, who are practically spoiled by the system, continue to make demands by complaining that their salaries and benefits are too low. The question is: compared to whom? Compared to the civil servant who can hardly put bread on the table from her ridiculous salary or to the average taxpayer who cannot afford to purchase a house with his salary or to the pensioner who can hardly live for a day off the monthly small change from the government?

Is it not obvious that we have a serious leadership crisis of men and women who care more about themselves, their ambitions and political achievements and that the public is just a tool towards those ends?

As Keen says, “a focus on survival and dominance eventually leads to rampant self-interest, inordinate self-interest. And with such self-interest only the individual or the group in which the individual is a part matters. In such circumstances, fraud becomes easier to rationalise.”

We live in economic despotism in which the few powerful politicians and those affiliated to them run the markets, enjoy luxuries and demand more while the ordinary workers are left to survive from one thin pay cheque to another. Corruption and greed among political leaders must be recognised as a tool of oppression and dehumanisation of ordinary citizens.

Therefore it is in our interest as the public to become proactive to see politicians accounting for their actions and not have them treat themselves as first class citizens who are above the law. We need to take a stand against corruption and ensure that we construct a system that can reduce corruption.

Source : The Namibian