The public would have appreciated the Judicial Service Commission’s (JSC) unusual step of clarifying the appointment of judge Rita Makarau, who has been seen as a darling of Zimbabwean former president Robert Mugabe’s repressive regime.
Very few people will have an issue with appointing women to the High and Supreme Court benches, because gender diversity enriches societies.
In fact, having non-Namibian judges (or other professionals) who are competent and stack up to our constitutional democracy and ethical values should be welcomed as it improves the country (as it adds value to our systems and processes – Geingob’s favourite line).
Sadly, the judiciary seemingly failed to appreciate that the most important quality of strength for the judiciary is transparency.
It does not engender trust when the recruitment of people who make crucial decisions for society is shrouded in opaqueness.
The issue is thus less about judge Makarau, who reportedly served as a Zanu-PF lawmaker before she was appointed to the courts.
It is about opening up so the public understands why certain people should sit in judgement on others.
Transparency and access to information is a key pillar of democracy.