Those vying for regional, local authorities must be worth their ideological salt

Kae Matundu-Tjiparuro

This Tuesday teams of the Electoral Commission completed supplementary voters’ registration across the country. This is to especially ensure that those who have turned 18 years, and others like those who have since changed their residential localities/constituencies and/or have changed their names, etc., makes the necessary amendments.

So that comes November 25, like the benign folks that the voters have all along, years in and year out been, can cast their votes in the regional and local authorities elections. Votes that they would be casting hoping against hope. Hoping that those they will be voting to be in charge of local and regional authorities, shall be delivering.

If past elections are anything to go by, most of the times those who have been voted in, many a times have been disappointing. Especially in terms of socio-economic transformation in the various constituencies, municipalities, village councils, and what-have-you. Not to mention the delivery of services to the benign and dedicated folks, that most of the times have been awfully wanting, if not substandard.

Despite non-delivery and/or the delivery of substandard or wanting services to and in many of these local and regional authorities being more a rule than an exception, the masses, dutifully, dedicatedly and benignly have been fulfilling their part of the deal, casting their votes. Thereby entrusting their welfare in the hands of those they voted for, and their political parties and/or associations.

Despite them offering little to the voters than empty promises in their campaigns. Like their fellow bourgeoisie at the central government level. Simply because they are usually marginally different local variants of the central/national bourgeoisie, if not impositions from the central structures of the political formations/associations.

Thus ideologically no different from their seemingly more superior counterparts in the national assembly elections. Because the ideology myelitis, ideological mediocrity and bankruptcy their national mentors/handlers are infested with, have also contaminated and corrupted them ideologically. Thus, councilors, both at local and regional levels, have had little to offer in terms of radically uplifting residents and inhabitants socio-economically.

Thirty years plus after independence, there is no single local and regional authority that can proudly stand out as a model to the rest of the pack in terms of the socio-economic advancement of its residents and inhabitants. Because the imaginations of the councilors have been rooted in the status quo.

Based on capitalism. Whereas capitalism is naturally and inherently designed in the interest of the capitalist class itself. And naturally diametrically opposed and contradictory to the expectations of the masses, the workers in particular. Few of the political imaginations of the candidates who have been standing for regional and local authorities elections hitherto, have had any pretense at ideological inclination and/or content. Thus few if any of them can be said to have had any ideologically deep-rooted imaginations of truthfully, meaningfully and radically reconstructing and transforming their localities and constituencies socio-economically.

Therefore, just like on the national/central level, there is a need for an ideological paradigm shift, starting with this November local and regional elections. It should no longer be business as usual where the periphery, the local and regional, pander and pamper to the ideologically twisted whims and shenanigans of the national bourgeoisie. The periphery must begin to define own local agendas in terms of the true local and regional democratic structures, and eventually deliver at their levels, a truly socialist inspired radical socio-economic transformation.

The Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN), has been inundated with applications from new political parties and associations intent on contesting this year’s local and regional elections. To say the least the ideological intent, disposition and content of all of these formations, if not most of them, are yet to be seen, but in the past such has been ambivalent at best, if not outright capitalist at worst. Axiomatically, they cannot be deserving of the votes of the masses, hoodwinked every year into voting one or the other of these ideologically amoeboid formations.

There’s no denying the fact that most of modern day Namibia’s urban centres are sprawling epicentres of social rot and decay. Usually a result of the inability to arrest years of colonial capitalism’s legacy underdevelopment of the rural periphery. Resulting in urban influx and the attendant decay, poverty and squalor. It thus goes without saying that ideologically, one cannot ignore this state of affairs. And the beginning towards the requisite and all important paradigm shift, is now.

It is time that all the progressive Namibian forces start rethinking Samir Ami’s, the late leading African scholar and co-founder of the world-systems tradition, legacy of a new left (international), beginning home as charity begins at home. And now with the regional and local authority elections. In terms of political re-organisation or overhaul, and socio-economic justice on the home front, eventually joining the rest of the world in this regard.

Voters, and workers and their allies in particular must go to the polls comes November 25th but it must be clear to every one who wants their votes that they are worth these votes. They must sent a strong signal that their votes are no more for wholesale but that anyone deserving of their votes must be ideologically inclined and start to build the foundation towards real regional and local democracy, and a highway towards real and meaningful radical socio-economic transformation.

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