Soldiers must soldier on

It has come to the Judgement Call’s attention that there are Namibian civil servants who have signed up for heavy-duty missions, but want to be treated special.

These civil servants in the security sector - police officers and soldiers - who are supposed to serve as the protectors of the nation, are not happy about government announcing the increment of allowances for the elites. I think people forget the importance of the army and the police to the nation.

The army and police serve the nation, and they only take their orders from government, so the idea of punishing the nation for what a few elites in government will not benefit from is totally misguided. Soldiers and police officers cannot look at their jobs the way accountants, bankers or stock-brokers look at their jobs.

This is not an 8-to-5 service to government, this is a job that you are always on, and it’s in order to protect the nation, not so that you can get your salary and go on a shopping spree. Soldiers, police officers, nurses and doctors are the only callings where people should expect the worst, and still give their best.

Their service is to the people, which is why in many countries going awol is taken more seriously. When the police or nurses decide to go on strike, it is the nation which suffers. The people they are trying to send a message to can afford the health services in the private sector, and are paid enough to employ State security for their property.

Once again, it is the man who cannot afford a private doctor who will be deprived of the healthcare he is supposed to receive from a nurse. This is why you will not see elites making a fuss about the slow services in a hospital or the quality of education in State schools because they and their families are catered for by the private sector.

It is because of this that the Judgment Call will not shy away to say that it is cowardly of soldiers or police officers who have been the latest culprits to say that they will not devote as much energy to policing because they are unhappy about wages. Their jobs are not about the wages.

I will not ignore the fact that /KBB5447 their families need to be attended to financially, but they cannot jump to wanting more as soon as government announces that other people are going to get an increment. Police officers cannot think that they are doing the nation a favour by catching criminals or patrolling the streets.

As soon as they sign up for the job, the desire to keep the neighbourhoods free of crime should be their second nature. They need to make peace with the fact that they will never earn wages which will be able to let them buy five cars and three houses. That is just how the politics in policing and soldiering works.

This foolishness of constant entitlements should end in people holding positions as civil servants, and this should not only be limited to those in Safety and Health.

A minister who has the interest of the nation at heart would not accept a ridiculous increment to his already ridiculously high salary when those funds could be availed to the nation.

It is disappointing that not even one single minister got up to say that enough is enough with the increments and the benefits.