LATELY there have been at the local authorities level too much ado about nothing as the various political parties and formations jostle for positions on the management committees of the various hung councils.
As much as these elections were accompanied with much excitement, Yours Truly Ideologically cannot but be less excited about their outcome, the hung councils. Because in the final analysis these changes cannot be anything else but a zero some game accompanied by superficial visions and ideals. For democracy yes one may put some premium on these elections and subsequent recurring elections of the management committees. But in terms of actual service delivery, these may prove as most of the elections of the recent and ongoing managements are proving, the country for the duration of the tenure of these councils, and until the next local authority elections, is and shall definitely be in for a rough time.
As the saying goes when two elephants are fighting it is the grass that suffers most. Cascade this to the elections of managements and the delivery of services to those most in need of basic amenities in their localities and one shall see that this proverbial saying aptly applies to wht has been unfolding in most of the local councils recently with the election of managements.
It would be one thing that once these elections are over and done with, the councilors and their management shall then onward serious attend to the business of the day, which is looking after the welfare of the residents in terms of without failure delivering effective services. But from the doings within the various councils and their managements, this seems lime mere wishful thinking. Because the wrangling within these councils and their managements, shall continue as long the various political parties and formations remain the strange bedfellows that they are and seem to be politically and ideologically.
Despite, as you would have it, local authorities, more than anything else, must and should be about real bread and butter issues and the delivery of services to the residents.
Undeniably, running most of the local authorities in Namibia cannot be the most enviable endeavour, given the levels of poverty most of the residents of our cities, towns, villages and settlements are and have been reeling in and wrestling with. While this has been a reality, the other unpalatable reality has been the screaming inability coupled with incapacity and lack of resources financial, human and otherwise, of most if not all these local authorities and their managements. While one must and should indeed welcome the democratic inclination at these levels of governance, in terms of other parties being represented on the councils and management of these local authorities, equally such representation must be and cannot be intrinsic to itself, just for the sake of democracy, and in the name of democracy only as you would have it. Not while the constituents and residents of these local authorities, reeling and walloping in abject poverty, have been and are urgently craving for concrete measures to eject them from their destituteness, which is a sore sight in most of these cities, towns, villages and settlements.
It really matters and means nothing that the City of Windhoek Council and management has representatives of all the political parties and formations imaginable, if at the end of the day this hotchpotch of politics, non-ideological as they may be and/or pseudo ideological for some, cannot deliver tangible basics of life and/or administer to the material needs of the residents.
This surely must have been proven over the current year that has come to an end, especially for the City of Windhoek, which has been run by a politically eclectic coalition but in reality a superficial, makeshift and fragile one, that for all intents and purposes ideologically have never and shall never ever see eye to eye on many matters, most crucially even on the abject poverty in which most of the wretched of the City find themselves live in daily.
Sooner or later as has been proven lately with the latest elections and coalition re-configuration, this coalition as fragile as it was and has been mainly due superficial political differences, not to mention ideological ones, was bound to crumble as it has. Leading to another and different coalition. Only time will tell how long the latest centre shall hold. But noteworthy is that some of the political parties, which were part of the crumbled coalition, Affirmative Repositioning (AR), and the Popular Democratic Movement (PDM), are no longer part of the latest experiment in coalition forming, why not other than for pure political blindness, only these political parties themselves would perhaps one day make the residents of the City of Windhoek wise regarding their choice to stay out of teaming up with fellow councilors and drive the needs satisfaction agenda of the residents forward.
The love-hate relationship between the AR and the Independent Patriots for Change (IPC), which ostensibly must be coming from ironically from days of camaraderie of their two leading proteges within the Swapo Party of Namibia, could not be more apparent during the days leading up to the formation of the new coalition.
As with the previous coalition, the Swapo Party of Namibia has again opted out of the new coalition. While publicly the Swapo Party of Namibia has been on record that its government shall never deny any local authority that it does not control, the much-needed resources, actions speaks louder than words and by its councilors opting out of any coalition it does not have a majority in, speaks louder against any assurances it has given and shall continue to give, that local authorities shall not be starved of the crucial lifeline in terms of financial resources.
The City of Windhoek new coalition also features one of the new political kid on the block, the Landless People’s Movement (LPM), that was not part of the city’s founding coalition last year, due to what on the surface seem like pure political differences as opposed to matters of principle and/or ideology.
Given all these scenarios, it would be any wonder if the new coalition delivers on the pressing needs of the city, let alone endure, with those not part of the coalition, jealously waiting in the wings for it to crumble just like its forerunner, and for them to run away with whatever spoils. The big question Yours Truly ideologically is musing and shall forever be musing about is what spoils can be had by those waiting in the wings for the coalition to crumbles? Other than a repeat of what shall now become a vicious cycle of coalition forming with no end in sight. With the residents of the City meantime left in the wilderness in terms of essential services. But thanks to the ever present and dedicated municipal staffers, perhaps service delivery shall not run aground.