12 Friday, April 27 2018 NEW ERA thought leaders Opinions in this section must not exceed 600 words. Shorter pieces will enjoy preference and must be emailed to email@example.com TwitterSphere James Hall @hallaboutafrica How big is shipping in Namibia? Fully 10% of Namibia’s population works in the logistics industry - ports, air, road and rail transport, warehousing, freight forwarding firms, etc. That’s more than 257,000 people, reports Walvis Bay Corridor Group. Trophy Wife @HimbaGirl Education shouldn’t just be a ladder on which ambition climbs to privilege. It should make us realise our roles as agents of progress. Make us feel compelled to fight hunger, poverty and ignorance in our communities. Cutman Reloaded @Ich_Bin_ Cutman In Namibia you don’t need to set an alarm while you sleep, your problems will wake you up. Duke of Oshikuku @ ashapumba About 600 jobs on the line at Langer Heinrich Uranium as they announce plans to put operation under care and maintenance. Man, it’s not easy this our mining industry. Mo @MR_Ndilula_ With this cold front headed for Namibia, people heading to coastal towns like Lüderitz & Swakopmund/Walvis Bay for the NAMAs, please make sure you pack your coats & other warm clothing. You’ll be hit the hardest. The meaning of a SONA for our young democracy Voltaire, a philosopher of the enlightenment, implores us to cultivate our garden. The extension of Voltaire’s vocabulary is a concern for a people to be seized with the affairs of a republic, and improve on the state of the nation. A culture of entitlement, victimhood and unprovoked anger will not improve our state of affairs. Nor are these helpful for the quality and depth of our democracy. On 11 April 2018, President Hage G. Geingob delivered his third State of the Nation Address (SONA), in which he buoyantly emphasized several signature themes that are hallmarks of his presidency. First, in the overall framing, and in emphasis was not only the performance of government during the period under review – but the intensity and the urgency with which the plight of our young people ought to be seen, and acted upon in the coming months and years. Second, the President sought to highlight the penetration of the social protection architecture government had extended to the most vulnerable sectors of the population, including the elderly, the poor and persons living with disability. Third, by highlighting a Namibian perspective of Africa and the world, the President was deliberate in articulating our diplomacy in a manner consistent with the immediate directive elements of our [international relations] policy, including poverty eradication, inward investment flows and an equitable international system through, among others, the reform of the United Nations Security Council. With Namibia assuming the SADC chairmanship in August 2018, the SONA underscored the renewal of Namibia’s constructive role in regional and global affairs. Namibia’s role in dealing with regional challenges, including peace and security, will be called upon and will become emboldened and vital. Still, on the subject of international relations, the President returned Namibians to Voltaire’s notion on the “cultivation of our garden”, reminding us that the ability of the country to influence African and global affairs would be intimately tied to its own domestic achievements and success, of which poverty reduction and shared prosperity are key. What will guide the President’s external engagements remains the articulation of national considerations and actions within the SADC region, the African Union, the United Nations, the Commonwealth and bilateral partners. It is why it is necessary at this hour that we, as a country, locate our challenges within the frame of what is possible in the domestic arena. Yet, a domestic focus Dr Alfredo Hengari should not be divorced from an outward-looking perspective of the solutions available to us as a developing country. In light of the above, the SONA is pivotal as one of many communication platforms in the annual calendar of the President. As part of the expressions of the sovereignty of the people, the SONA is pre-eminent for its detailed accountability and prioritysetting mechanisms in a multidimensional process, involving symbolic, pragmatic and structural facets in Presidential action and communication. Our Parliament in a communicative process involving all these dimensions becomes a fitting institutional platform for the extension of our national debate about Republican successes and abdications. Moreover, the SONA’s elevation as an embodiment of the sovereignty of the Namibian people, conveyed by the President as the expression of their free will in the Parliamentary chamber, is what ought to allow other societal forces, including business, media and broader civil society, to engage the SONA with solemn intellectual and analytical clarity. It is what we ought to do in a democracy with the SONA. Its annual repetition is an opportunity to review progress, to start afresh and to inspire a generation of Namibians to believe in a better future as a consequence of past successes and new programs providing innovative possibilities. The SONA, an act of continuity, is also a reminder that life in a republic is a combat, and the ideal of prosperity for all shall not be optional in Presidential actions. SONA 2018, signed for the youth, is a program of action in line with the call for reckoning, with the President mobilising government to ensure that the Namibia citizen remains a priority. The President’s prioritisation of the citizen finds further practical expressions as amplified by several weeks of consultations with several constituencies of our nation, including the youth, trade unions, industry and business, faith-based communities and professional bodies. -Alfredo Tjiurimo Hengari is Press Secretary in the Presidency. Of captured youth and purging of the outspoken Many African youths are ignored in taking strong position of leadership. I have observed that many African governments of the 21st century have a tendency of destroying and ignoring new bloods. Older politicians came up with a notion of dismissing the outspoken youth in general and weaken or disempower the outspoken youth leaders in particular. In 2012 Namibian youth in general and SWAPO youth in particular raised a question of urban land distribution. This issue rose out when three youth leaders symbolically grabbed land at Klein Kluppe. This event provoked some leaders who want to keep land for themselves, their friends, family and foreign entrepreneurs. As a result, they later suspended Job Amupanda, Dimbulukeni Nauyoma and George Reverend Jan Scholtz Kambala from the ruling party. Precisely, this was done to weaken their position in society. The moment you have a low position in society; automatically society have low anticipations towards you. Marx Weber once argued that power, wealth and position go hand in hand in each given situation. The big lions have power, wealth and high positions in our societies. As a result they are utilising their power to stop and shut the voices of powerless young people. It’s seen as a sign of disrespect when youth talk against corruption, nepotism and unequal distribution of wealth and social justice. Scandalously, when money is lost in government, it’s a normal practice and people do not really take serious actions against it. Corruption is now a normal conduct in Africa, except in South Africa where former president Zuma is facing criminal charges. When youths advocate against social injustice, it’s criminalised by older African politicians to an extent that truth can cost someone’s job and even life. People who commit corrupt activities enjoy privileges compared to people who expose the truth. Africa, how long we will ignore and murder brilliant ideas from young intellectuals! Similarly as did SWAPO, ANC used the same system to suspend one of the outspoken youth Julius Malema. As an awakened youth it was clear to me that Malema was not suspended and expelled because of misconduct but because he embarked on a radical debate of class and nationalisation of mines. ANC top leadership realised that it was dangerous for them who want to continue enjoying privileges while the masses are suffering. As a result, the ANC expelled Malema simply because they wanted to weaken him and disempower him. Older politicians mostly in ruling parties consolidated power within themselves. To exercise their power, some African leaders started with cooperating and appointing captured youths to lead certain institutions. Captured young individuals have no say about what is right to them; they obey irrational rules of their masters. Unimportantly, they rather clap hands, get their salary and forget about most important obligations. Captured youths have their own interest in saving their masters and ignore the masses. For them masters come first, they come second, while the public that is supposed to be first comes last. For young bloods, freedom of speech is our rights to express our opinions and thoughts. We understand freedom of speech as a theory and one of the significant concepts in democracy. African youths have rights to speak out about things that have never taken them into state of happiness and engagements. However the understanding of older African politicians is that youths’ democratic rights through public discourses are disrespecting them. Thus their response is always suspensions and expulsions. Idi Amin Dada, president of Uganda 1971 until 1978, once said “I can guarantee you freedom of speech but there is no freedom after speech”. - Sakaria Johannes is a third year political science and history student at the University of Namibia.
Friday, April 27 2018 NEW ERA THOUGHT LEADERS 13 Buffalos, buffalos but until when? Since last Tuesday, farmers in the Okakarara Constituency, communal farmers in particular, have been up and running in hot pursuit of a buffalo that was spotted by a farmer in the village of Okarui in the constituency. It is understandable that following the sad news of the detection of the buffalo, communal farmers have not had a night’s sleep, scurrying around, and sparing no energy let alone any meagre resources at their disposal in these trying times of more scarcity because of the ban on the movement of animals, to find the stray buffalo in the shortest time possible. This in collaboration with authorities from ministries like that of agriculture, water and forestry (MAWF), particularly its veterinary services, and that of environment and tourism that is responsible for conservancies and, thus, on whose shoulders the responsibility and accountability for the roaming buffalo squarely lies. It may be a few years since the occurrence in the Otjozondjupa Region of some roaming and stray buffalos, but the impact then, to say the least, was widespread and disastrous and nearly calamitous or calamitous. Thus, this is very much fresh in the minds of many, especially communal farmers in the Okakarara Constituency, whose livelihood would be threatened by the detection of the buffalos and the subsequent banning on the movement of animals for a protracted period. Literally, life in the constituency, especially in the communal areas, be it Okakarara main, Okondjatu, Okamatapari, Okotjituuo and Coblenz, came to a standstill. This is because the mainstay of the constituency, as far as these communal areas are concerned – the cattle economy, came under threat because of the ban on the movement of animals, meaning farmers could not sell their animals. For most of these farmers, selling cattle is the only means of income, thus sustenance. One cannot but liken their situation then to the current economic recession in Namibia, which in particular has tremendously affected the construction industry. Those who have been close to the construction industry in the country, economically linked to it one way or the other, very well know what it means when one’s economic umbilical cord is all of a sudden cut. Shop closures, repossessions, and what-have-you, the calamities are too numerous to enumerate. No recovery from such for some. The social effects of such may also be far-reaching than meets the eye. Social decay and upsurge in crime are. Some of the impacted, given the lucrativeness of their tenders, may have stashed something away for the rainy day. But this could not be said with the communal farmers, for whom farming for most is subsistence. That is why the recurrence of buffalos in the constituency, and the Otjozondjupa Region at large, one cannot but agree more with Kazenambo Kazenambo “KK”, needs a serious, urgent and long-lasting solution by all stakeholders. Because of the current recession, one cannot but be oblivious to how it has impacted, especially on communal areas. Lately, more often than not, children have been sent on extended breaks, especially schools with hostel accommodation. This is partly due to the current recession, as because of the signs of the times, maintaining hostels, especially feeding learners has become an unsustainable undertaking. Increasingly, parents are being called upon to bring their dues to contain this situation. Parents in urban areas may be able to cope from their weekly and/or monthly wages. In urban areas, for that matter, most parents may not have their children in hostels. But most of the schools in rural areas rely on hostels because the schools sparse and thus far from homes. Meaning that schools in rural areas have been bearing the brunt of the current recession in the country. Parents in these areas rely mostly, if not only, on selling their animals. And parents in the communal area of Okakarara are no exception. But more saddening than the recalcitrant commercial farmer, as KK again maintains, and one cannot but again agree with him, is that these roaming animals belong to the government and it must seriously start doing something about them. While the animals belong to the government, it is the poor farmers most of the time who have been suffering from the ban on the movement of animals because of the roaming buffalos time and again. THIS WEEK IN QUOTES “But now that we have the positions, we do not have funds to employ them,” health minister Dr Bernhard Haufiku on why the ministry will not recruit new nurses in the current financial year. “Be assertive, not passive. As a politician, when the president tells you that one plus one equals four, you must be able to stand up to him and say, ‘No Mr President, it’s not true’,” RDP MP Mike Kavekotora in cementing his point that the opposition failed to ask President Hage Geingob critical questions during this year’s State of the Nation Address. “After the announcement on Saturday morning calling on community members to help search, we followed the riverbed and finally came across his body,” Leonard Mwoonde, a relative of Nehemia Shindinge, whose son’s body was found in a riverbed last weekend, after he was swept away by heavy floods with his mother a week earlier. “I support whatever proposal made by my political head,” Namibia Institute of Pathology CEO Augustinus Katiti on plans to integrate the company into the ministry of health as a department. “I’m really asking God for forgiveness for all my wrongdoing. I am really looking for a job, even if it is just to throw trash out of dustbins at a fee,” a member of a Katutura gang during a reconciliatory meeting with the police held last Saturday. Compiled from New Era editions from this week and Nampa Capitalism or socialism: Namibia must make up mind This article is written about the issue, which brought about ideological change in the liberation movements as well as present classes, which are benefiting from the economy of Namibia. We, in the whole of Africa, got our political independence but the struggle for economic emancipation is still going on. The colonialists and reactionary forces at the verge of their defeat had carried out their desperate Machiavellian tactics to maintain their colonial rule over our country. Therefore, at the dawn of the victory over the apartheid colonial rule the Western capitalist countries, through the Gang of 5, shamelessly came on board and worked hard to influence the outcome of the independence of our country to be in the interests of the capitalist world. Western countries resisted this development. Surely, the socialist system could have opened opportunities for those who were formerly disadvantaged and who were excluded and it could have led to poverty reduction. The radical political struggle of the working class did not succeed in introducing a socialist system in the country and that situation was exploited and used by the capitalist classes to perpetuate the capitalist economic system in the country. Another negative factor that prevailed then was the coexistence within the rank and file of the membership of the parties where we had multiplicity of classes. We had membership of proletariats, peasants, petty bourgeoisies, etc, with varying economic and political interests. The petty bourgeoisies in cahoots with commercial bourgeoisies became disruptive classes in their efforts to prevent the introduction of socialist socio-economic system in the country. This complex class situation is being used by big and strong capitalist coun- Dr Ngarikutuke Tjiriange nomic victims of the bourgeoisies. This situation also becomes a breeding ground for lumpenproletariat, who are unreliable and who cannot be perceived to be revolutionaries in the true sense of the world. tries to finance and develop capitalist countries to economic situation in the The present finance and develop capitalist economic systems rican people, including country has brought Af- not only in Namibia but former freedom fighters, in the African continent. into what I can describe In addition to these as cash economy where and because of these diversities the liberation the products they have to their basic importance and movements did not always have a clear, sound That situation will keep sell is only their labour. and unifying ideology them perpetually in the circle of just only selling their and class-consciousness. The worker-peasant alliance is being neutralised into economic prosperity. labour without advancing by lack of ideological platform from which they can is very difficult to have a Under this situation, it fight for their class interest progressive revolutionary and, as a result, they became passive and inactive country. This capitalist eco- economic solution in our and thus remain socio-economic system will just keep on making the rich richer and the poor poorer. The basic means of production do not belong to the majority but to the few economically rich bourgeoisies. In fact, the proletariat will never be owners of the means of production under this present capitalist system. I am writing this article against the backdrop of deepening world capitalist crisis and heightening of the poor people’s struggle for their survival. New Era, in its editorial of earlier this month, observed that “Namibia’s mineral resources are a sad paradox - a paradox of being a poor nation, and rich at the same time”. It is said that there is a “staggering figure of N billion in money earned from the export of minerals produced locally during the 2017/2018 financial year”. What is worrisome is that it is revealed that “companies listed as producers of these minerals are all foreign owned, some without an iota of local ownership”. The point I am making here is that the amount of money which are nearly half of the budget of the country, which were gained through the mining revenue of our resources which were extracted from our country belong to foreign capitalist bourgeoisies while the Namibian people are wallowing in poverty. That is the result and consequences of the imposed capitalist economic system under which we are living today where huge profits are shipped out of the country. If it was under socialism, every person could have been employed and live a normal life while in a capitalist country there are and there will always be high rates of unemployment. Under socialism, the beneficiaries from the resources of the country are the masses of the given country while under capitalism the resources are owned by capitalist classes and they are the main beneficiaries.