columnBy Chris Smith
I WAS going to start off with a tirade about mad board payments as per The Namibian of 31 January but I thought I should have a look at the product! Guilt, despite its easily accessible web page I admit I have not looked at the Southern Times output for months. Why, simple it seemed always to be praising the incompetent and covering up the sins of our regional world. The tirade will follow but I was fascinated to find an article, '50 Years of Decline', evidently closely related to the recent changes at the top of the AU where another of my least favourites, Dlamini-Zuma, published what can only be seen as a damning evaluation of her new organisation!
While the external world has been pointing out how useless, tainted and all those words, here was the AU finally admitting the truth. The truth that 90% of its funding comes from outside (mainly Europe) , that the only element of its activity that does anything, the Safety and Security lot, while writing a lot praising itself finally admits, when it come to action, it totally fails. It admits that despite having claimed it has an African Rapid Response Force, admits this is untrue! Just look at how, at the soonest sign of needing a fighting force to respond to the seemingly endless fights that erupt it ends up begging for the ex colonial powers to come and do the dirty work as the AU leaders formulate grand plans, investigations and similar.
Look how the French are greeted as heroes in Mali when they almost instantly send in their rapid response lot; and look where the promised African force is, out there with its begging bowls, broken down transport and overweight troops. Maybe, like our Ministry of Defence they are so busy buying drinking glasses to satisfy their well known propensity for a "dop or two", that they have forgotten why they exist.
The article was also explicit on the reasons for failure of the AU, a complete failure of leadership to take forward their declared goals. They only exist to protect and continue the existent leaders under the guise of the "institutional myth"! A look at past leaders and their nations track records gives a good picture of real intent and moral positioning. And the financing shows who in reality the AU works for. Those outsiders wishing to preserve their access to cheap raw materials, toxic dump sites and money laundering routes. The myth that the AU is modelled on the EU is just that. Even the legal system can only represent governments; the people are sentenced to legal subservience.
So well done Southern Times, the GRN view! Good article. But now the tirade! Here we have a situation which is typified by the above macro cock-up! A newspaper with somewhere around 7000 prints a week, N$21000 pw plus a few ads, say N$25000 pw total, or somewhere around , or a total income of about N$1.25 million pa, paying its board of directors, with expenses, now far off N$1 million pa. What are they paid for, certainly not, as most boards exist for, to ensure a "going concern". Such idiocy, the continued funding of propaganda, will no doubt be reconfirmed in the coming budget! The madness of the African Union is reflected in our national thinking. Use the peoples money to enrich the few, especially the incompetents.
We now admit our macro institutions are, in general, failing dismally. Equally we can look at our local institutions performing similarly. NAC, NWR and the rest, and I see Air Namibia now under some form of axe, plus many more are reaching financial cliffs. Other articles show that the richest in Africa are usually politicians, The Angolan daughter, the Kenyan top politicians (2) even the coming Vice-Pres. of South African, Uncle Cyril, once a devout and worthy opponent in the trades union movement are all up there!
How many of our leaders are in a similar position? We are all getting fed up with the talk..
Perhaps more will be revealed in those ultimate inevitabilities - death and taxes. The only time when bovine deposits harden into fact! Now the Cabinet motivation speech?