What’s his deal?

The 2019 general election is very close. This will be my first-ever election that I am actually a part of, and I could not be more torn.

05 November 2019 | Columns

Elizabeth Joseph

Although I have never voted, I think everyone should at least have an idea of who to vote for. I don’t. Everyone has been telling me to read manifestos and read up on some of the political parties running for office. I have major trust issues, so reading a piece of paper would not make it any easier.

I have, however, been following Dr Panduleni Itula’s journey, especially because he is at the top of everyone’s conversations and social media always hypes everything up a 100 times over.

Although it is not advisable to count on Twitter to feed my inquisitive mind, what am I to do?

Every day leading up to the election has been hard for me, because I have to make a political decision that I never even thought would be so difficult. I have to reason with myself, because I have been living in a Namibia that seems ‘all good’, but really isn’t.

If you have a steady job, then you are certainly not feeling the heat as badly. My only dream for this country is prosperity. Not the ‘superficial, say-don’t-do, we are all equal’ type of prosperity that I have been seeing, but real wealth redistribution, realistic job-creation and the growth of our ever-deteriorating economy. Those are a few of my expectations for the next party or candidate who comes to power.

I am certainly not the biggest politics nerd, but you don’t need to be to have a say in what happens in the next five years of your life.

I definitely still have a lot of research to do in terms of reading different manifestos, in order to prepare myself for the election. I am, however, still wavering.

I wish I had a deeper interest and understanding of politics, because maybe then I would have an easier time knowing what I need. Knowing what to look for in a political party or candidate is so important.

My point is that all the promises sound sweet until its teatime. Independent presidential candidate, Itula, said if he is elected into power, his 12-member cabinet would comprise of 40% youth.

I and thousands of young people hear this and hope that it’s true. Itula also wants key decision-making positions in government structures and entities to be made up of 40% young people.

Either this is really as good as it sounds or these political candidates are preying on the vulnerable and most powerful generation.

I want to believe the promises of a better and more prosperous Namibia, but it is beginning to sound very familiar.

It is true, youth are worst hit by unemployment and experience high levels of inequality. Itula said that this is aggravated by the fact that no specific tools and capacity have been cultivated to address this, when he launched his manifesto a few weeks back.

“Much of a greater problem is that those who claim to care for the youth under the guise of youthful representation do not have the slightest idea of what the youth want. Nobody in the current political dispensation dared to ask what the youth want, how the youth want it done and when the youth want it done,” he said.

To me this means: Thank God someone is finally listening to us. And what is his deal? What agenda is he pushing?

We have heard, seen and felt, for the longest time, that the current leaders of this country are all over the ages of 30 and many people have had mixed feelings about this, one of them being me.

So the fact that what Itula is saying sounds so promising has me scared to death. For the first time I want to give a politician the time of day.

I hope this doesn’t sound like I am swearing my allegiance an independent candidate, but I am excited to see what comes from this election.

Job-creation that caters for vocational trainees, youth inclusion in cabinet, a N$1 000 dual-option direct government housing schemes and a jobseeker allowance are some of the promises that we are given now to cling to.

Wish me luck, and make the best choice for you.

Take care of yourself, and others!

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