THE Africa Super League was launched in Tanzania this week amid much fanfare, with huge prize money for the 24 clubs who qualify for the first edition next year.
EGOS, egos, egos ...
It's only one year since voters at several major towns decided that political organisations must work together to deliver municipal services.
Alas, leaders of those parties seem to have forgotten that mandate and are more in the news because of internal squabbles.
If the results of the 2020 local authority elections are anything to go by, voters are yearning for change, specifically an improvement in services as opposed to councillors whose focus is mainly on their bellies and positions for personal benefit.
Fighting among coalition parties is no more evident than in the capital of Namibia, Windhoek, where the cacophony from the incessant squabbling between erstwhile comrades reached a crescendo this week.
Trading blows in the ring these days are the Affirmative Repositioning (AR) and the Independent Patriots for Change (IPC).
Actually, it's a clash of egos between IPC leader Panduleni Itula and AR rabble-rouser Job Amupanda.
Put in Katutura slang, Amupanda squeals that “daai Itula-ou check my nie raakie, hy dink ek is sy laaitie”.
Meaning, “that Itula has shown me no respect”.
Kammakastig “Itula treats me like I'm his child”.
Itula, on the other hand, accuses Amupanda of not behaving like a coalition mayor.
Tura people would say: “Hy dink hy's warm asof hy die enigste bok is.”
Or he thinks he's the main man.
McHenry Venaani, leader of the other coalition member party, the Popular Democratic Movement (PDM), has tried to tread a middle path by calling on fellow politicians to keep their egos in check and make their coalition work.
Venaani seemed to suggest that Itula was mostly at fault by failing to communicate with other coalition members, often at the expense of work that needs to done by the municipality.
Therein lies the rub: The egos of Itula and Amupanda (who combined forces in the presidential elections of 2019 in an attempt to unseat president Hage Geingob) have gotten in the way of the city council's plan to ensure smooth delivery of services, and implement promises the parties made to voters.
With the rainfall predicted to be above normal this season, residents of our capital should not be surprised to see potholes becoming common while coalition politicians indulge in fighting each other.
The municipality already seems to be returning to the infighting among senior managers that was a hallmark when Swapo was in charge of the council.
The sooner the coalition council appreciates that voters have given them an opportunity to show what they can deliver, the better their chances of getting an improved, if not resounding, mandate in the next elections.
If they are too focused on soothing egos, they risk messing up a glorious chance, and in the process may well drive voters to more apathy towards elections and cynical politics.
Itula, Amupanda, Venaani and company, it is time to take charge of your egos. Lock them up in a cage for the sake of Windhoek's residents who are in desperate need of a smooth-functioning system.
At the moment you are involved in a zero-sum game.
You already have obstacles set at central-government level that hamper the autonomous functioning of municipalities without wanting to shoot yourselves in the foot.
The coalition crew should know this: No one will trust you with the power to run a government if you are failing to run a N$5 billion municipality.
Namibia's National Tribal Leaders
NATIONAL tribal leaders are an oxymoron.
But we increasingly have them.
How else do we characterise the phenomenon of leaders at the highest levels of our nation state, yet also donning the mantle of village headmen and tribal chiefs?
With such contradictory roles, for instance, how would a governor of the Bank of Namibia or minister of finance who is also a village headman divorce himself from ethnic allegiances when dealing with issues of national importance?
It is concerning that 30 years into building a Namibian nation younger generations are descending into tribal loyalty.
“Cry, the beloved country” is an apt phrase to borrow from Alan Paton.