Epafras Mukwiilongo, leader of the Namibian Economic Freedom Fighters (NEFF), has argued that there is a need to reevaluate the current democratic government system in Namibia and integrate traditional features that align with the country’s values and aspirations.
Speaking in the National Assembly here last week, Mukwiilongo said, ‘There is no such thing as Namibian democracy,’ stressing that the country’s founding fathers adopted a system which they modified to suit the historical, cultural and traditional political setup. He added, ‘Our democracy is an alien system that has been rigorously applied to communicate with us, often in a language we do not fully understand. It has thus completely detached itself from Namibia’s traditional roots and how our forefathers governed this land.’
Mukwiilongo argued that although Namibia’s democratic system has been relatively stable, there is a need to remain vigilant and continuously assess and reassess the strength of the borrowed system. He proposed adopting elements that strengthen the country’s institutions according to its own standards, rather than those borrowed from ‘the West’.
He further questioned whether institutions such as Parliament, the Judiciary, and a free press, which provide checks and balances to prevent power concentration, have remained free from interference and manipulation. He remarked, ‘Have our laws been designed to secure the rights of every Namibian and ensure equal participation in the economic progress of this great nation? I pose these questions at a time when we, from the NEFF, have observed the use of our laws and courts to silence dissenting voices.’
Mukwiilongo also noted that Namibia’s decision to maintain or revise its democratic system must reflect its commitment to the national dream of becoming a strong economic and political powerhouse. He said, ‘I do not disagree with the notion that democracy has played a pivotal role in strengthening Namibian politics and governance. However, my submission is that the current format has not been the most ideal. While it is not without its challenges, Namibia must blend democratic principles with traditional characteristics to contribute to our stability and development.’
Source: The Namibian Press Agency