Rambler – Mabara Pas? [column]

I’ve caught myself all too often frowning heavily, sticking my right fist in my side and asking “mabara pas?” while watching Namibian news or reading a newspaper.

It’s a mixture of Khoekhoegowab (mabara) and Afrikaans (pas). Mabara means where, while pas means to fit.

So, directly translated it means ‘where does it fit?’. It sounds better in Afrikaans: waar pas dit? This is usually asked in genuine astonishment or pure disgust by Namibians from all walks of life.

It’s like some freak German supremacists telling government that they will destroy shit ‘if you natives don’t listen to us good white folks’. Or ‘we’ll use our considerable resources, generated on the back of exploiting black workers, to keep your arses in court for years’ if we don’t restore their damn horse. Now, if those ass wipes have not realised that black people, the majority in this country, are now running shit, they need to be told. The blatant baas mentality of ‘you will do what you are told’ really made me sit up and ask… Mabara pas?

So we all know it’s an election year but the way some politicians buy gevreet with people they’ve hardly noticed during the last few years is astounding. Labour minister Doreen Sioka rocked up at a shack in Agste Laan last week and told some security guards to pose for NBC’s cameras. She was kamma concerned that the guards were not treated well and threatened to revoke all government contracts that this company has. How about the minister revoke the government contracts of all security companies who are still not paying their workers minimum wage? How about making sure the laws you make are actually implemented? Scoring political points at the expense of Namibia’s worst treated workers? Mabara pas?

But I was, for once, dumbstruck when our Lukas Pohamba chased the NDC chairman from his entourage when they visited Naute Dam recently because of the living conditions of the workers. Would he… No, could he honestly tell me he only realised during this, his last year of office, that blue collar workers are generally ill-treated? Mabara pas, Lukas?

The Namibian reported this week that National Assembly (NA) Speaker, Theo-Ben Gurirab said there will be no reversal on the decision to construct a N$640 million parliament building.

“We must and will have the parliament and now is the time to set the process in motion,” he said.

Etse! !No tarab!

With all our challenges? With all our problems? With all the programmes and projects that have been moved to the bottom of the priority list, this is the project Gurirab throws his considerable weight behind?

If Gurirab and his fellow MPs were not so out of touch, he would have thought “mabara pas?” to himself before motivating that silly plan in parliament. Eko ti…

I wonder what Gurirab thought when he read in The Namibian that nurses at State hospitals are buying and making their own uniforms because their ministry has failed to issue them for a number of years. Mabara pas?

And were the Chinese the flavour of the week in Windhoek?

President of the China Foundation for Human Rights Development (CFHRD), Huang Mengfu, visited the Minister of Justice Utoni Nujoma on Monday and was probably thinking what the holy f*ampk?

At least that was what I thought when Utoni said Namibia has a lack of capacity and financial resources to address human rights challenges and that his ministry has only a few staff members who are responsible for compiling the country’s human rights reports.

Was he wragtag asking China for help train our human rights workers?

The only time we need to talk to China about human rights is when we lecture them behind closed doors. As good friends do. China’s human rights record inspires as much confidence as David Moyes’ post loss press conferences.

Maybe our own Princeling wants people who hold different views than himself to rot in jail for years. Maybe he wants political prisoners to mysteriously commit suicide in their cells and maybe he wants the internet restricted to the hilt and maybe he doesn’t want people to have any political say in their future.

Talk about politics. Hage Geingob recently made a whirlwind stopover in Namibia just in time to entertain a Chinese delegation to announce his envisaged visit to their country from 4 to 13 April. He also spoke without thinking.

The Prime Minister said Namibia stands ready for Chinese investment. More investment for what, oumes?

Really Hage, really? How much more of their Chinese employers’ shit must our people carry in plastic bags? How many more bricklayers must Chinese contractors pay handlanger wages with your government conveniently looking the other way? Mabara pas?

How about making sure the Chinese who are already here comply to minimum wage rules for workers?

But the mabara pas moment of the decade must be the Swapo Party Youth League’s (SPYL) first ever national beauty pageant at the end of May to “empower women”.

With so many smart people in Swapo, I can’t believe no one has ever thought of that before. Very well done, Elijah Ngurare! Finally putting that PhD to good use.

Source : The Namibian