Africa-Press – Namibia. This might seem like an exaggeration and alarmist, but what can anyone make of the police chief instructing traffic officers to ignore a violation of road laws because incompetent government officials have failed to do their work?
Inspector general Sebastian Ndeitunga told traffic officers to turn a blind eye to government vehicles with expired licence discs. Ndeitunga was apparently acting on the request of the executive director in the ministry of home affairs, Etiene Maritz, who feels essential services are being hampered by traffic police doing their work.
These are signs that Namibia is on a slippery slope to ruin. What next? Allow government vehicles that are not roadworthy to remain on the road and endanger people’s lives? Consumer Protection is Long Overdue IT IS Mind-boggling that Namibia does not have a policy or law aimed at protecting the consumer.
This week’s report in The Namibian that about 180 pharmacies impose a minimum 50% mark-up on the price of medicine as a rule of the industry is a long overdue wake-up call for authorities to act with urgency in the best interest of the masses.
The Namibian Competition Commission (NaCC) announced in December’s Government Gazette that it will take the Pharmaceutical Society of Namibia (PSN) and its members to court for collusion in fixing the prices of medicine. What is shocking is that pharmacies’ practice of a minimum 50% mark-up has been around for many years, according to the PSN itself.
If nothing else, Covid-19 should have alerted politicians to the unbridled exploitation of consumers after businesses took advantage of medical shortages to charge prohibitive prices for essential goods and services. In the first half of 2021, more than 3 000 Namibians died of Covid-19. Many succumbed from a lack of oxygen, equipment and medicine whose prices went through the roof.
Sadly, the authorities are still nowhere close to ensuring that people are never again greedily priced out of accessing life-saving medicine and medical equipment.
Namibians have long been in need of protection against predatory business people. Are politicians and bureaucrats not acting because of self-interest as many of them, relatives and cronies, are major players in several businesses?
It’s about time lawmakers and bureaucrats get back to the basics of why they occupy state institutions – to serve the public. Fifa, This is Your Last Shot
THE HEAD HONCHOS from Fifa in Zurich have been in Namibia this week for the umpteenth time to yet again try and resolve the impasse between the ‘leaders’ of local football.
For the past several years, the game has been played on a stop-start basis, depriving players of income, fans of entertainment, and businesses of opportunities to earn an income from football.
Namibian football depends wholly on the generosity of sponsors. It is from that financial support that players were paid what many consider a pittance.
Yet those meagre amounts were the only source of income for hundreds of players. Consider that many of them have not completed secondary school. As it is, Namibia has an alarming youth unemployment rate of over 50%. For some, football is their only means of sustenance – materially and psychologically.
That much is known. And that, unfortunately, is the sad part. Players continue to bear the brunt of self-absorbed leadership squabbles. Leading football administrators are insensitive to the well-being of players, not to mention the good of the sport.
Namibia’s football crisis is like a movie on repeat. Only the characters change. We hope that Fifa’s engagement with football stakeholders this week will result in a lasting solution. This is your last shot Fifa. Please make it count.