14 thought leaders Friday, March 9 2018| NEW ERA Schlaga a brilliant man who should know better I know Ambassador Christian Schlaga well enough to know he is no simpleton. In fact the one or two occasions we have interacted, I took him to be a very knowledgeable man, well-spoken and seemingly well-exposed representative of his country in Namibia. That he is unable to see the inextricable link between structural inequality in Namibia, the genocide and the colonial history, perpetrated by his country, could therefore only be deliberate. I doubt that Schlaga lacks the intellectual wherewithal to have appreciated the inference implied in President Geingob’s rhetorical retort of criticism of the New Equitable Economic Empowerment Framework (NEEEF). If I am mistaken, so be it. In fact, the rebuttal to my piece (New Era, 23rd February, 2018) which was published in the New Era newspaper on 2 March 2018 on behalf of Ambassodor Schlaga by the Germany embassy in Namibia, vindicates those of us who believe that the naivety being feigned by Schlaga and the government he represents is deliberate and intentioned to obfuscate history, so as to elude justice. If the intention of the German embassy was for our reaction to their “German-Namibia cooperation” rebuttal, to be the silence that follows victims’ remorse, then they were woefully misinformed about the determination and courage of the Namibian people. We are determined to emerge as victors for the sake of our antecedents, whom in their hundreds of thousands perished under the hand of the Kaiser, in the most heinous of circumstances. Ironically, just before reading their response to my piece, I was reading an article in The Guardian on what is the “white saviour mentality” of aid agencies – the parallels between Schlaga’s list of good deeds in Namibia and it, were uncanny. The guilt-driven kindness of Germany as manifested by its “highest per capita aid to Namibia” is nice, but it doesn’t constitute justice in any form. I will not drag this very important discussion into the gutter by responding to the suggestion that I use my position in SWAPO to eschew German development aid to Namibia, nor by making the issue at hand about Schlaga and me. However, I found the mere suggestion thereof as yet another Schlaga moment, lacking in tact and substance. I was astonished also by the audacity of Schlaga’s unkind remarks towards Cde Kazenambo Kazenambo as attributed to him in New Era. Whomever the Namibian people regard as relevant or not, is our business, not his. That KK as a young man, joined the People’s Liberation Army of Namibia, puts him in a class of man and woman whose patriotism and love for this country is beyond reproach and whom shall forever be embedded in our hearts and minds. Granted, Germany has a lot to lose by admitting genocide, including perhaps further entrenching kollektivschuld, the collective feeling of guilt attributed to Germans following WWII. In addition, I suppose the pressure from erstwhile European colonial powers not to concede to demands for atonement and restitution, is but one such fear to doing the right thing. I however had hoped, perhaps against my better judgement, that Schlaga, Polentz and even the usually morally steadfast Angela Merkel, would come to appreciate the demands of genocide descendants and Namibia as an opportunity to demonstrate a principled conscience and some moral leadership. Quoting Professor William Paterson, Ambassador Paul Lever in Berlin Rules, refers to nascent Germany as a ‘reluctant hegemon’; notwithstanding this apt description, Germany has shown instances of great moral leadership, inclusive of these are Brandt’s Neue Ostpolitik, holocaust acknowledgement and atonement. Merkel’s migration crisis stance and that Germany boasts some of the world’s most forward thinking policy perspectives on sustainable development, are but some. German society has the ability to lead and to think forward – it has done so on many fronts, it has without doubt the capacity to demonstrate moral fortitude on many issues. In the instance of the Herero-Nama genocide, it fails woefully to do so. I was astonished also by the audacity of Schlaga’s unkind remarks towards Cde Kazenambo Kazenambo as attributed to him in New Era. Whomever the Namibian people regard as relevant or not, is our business, not his. – Mandela Kapere African leaders need radical paradigm shift to industrialisation No value addition policy has yielded any fruits, as our own raw materials haven’t been turned into products locally that we can use or consume ourselves. Even tomato paste for our own fish, and its tin, are imported. We can’t manufacture a tin that we urgently need for packaging iron from our own mines. –Vetaruhe Kandorozu I don’t understand our African leaders who are in charge of our countries’ administration. Why don’t they venture into manufacturing and the whole industrialisation process? Why can’t they build warehouses, install machinery and take people from each region, province or county to be trained through bilateral agreements with developed countries and start manufacturing items with quality and quantity as per African standard and population buying power? I am sure some developed countries will provide mentorship services to the good cause. Like in Namibia we have the empty Ramatex warehouses in Windhoek that are getting dilapidated as they stand as white elephants. We can turn this facility into incubation centres and allow all vocational training centre trainees to come manufacture their products using those machines and sell products locally or even export them. By doing this, our countries will be independent, increase job opportunities and our state revenues will increase – thereby allowing us to service our MIF/World Bank debts and start saving some money for eventualities. Yes, a little bit of export opportunities will be there through interregional trade agreements that already exist. How do you run a country over 28 years or more but your manufacturing sector is represented by less than 10 products while the rest come from imports? No value addition policy has yielded any fruits, as our own raw materials haven’t been turned into products locally that we can use or consume ourselves. Even tomato paste imported. We can’t manufacture a tin that we urgently need for we extract iron from our own mines. With iron mines, we should be manufacturing tins or corrugated-iron sheets. We have been talking about a toothpick manufacturing plant for the past 27 years here in Namibia but no one has been empowered and got training how to produce toothpicks. We are building houses, but corrugatedirons come from elsewhere, instead of buying machinery and attach them to the houses and they produce as per demand then there will be no stock on the shelves to be translated into loss – those sheets will come from our own iron that we are mining. What we know is to celebrate these national days, this and that, with millions of dollars burned into fuel costs, attending state funerals, why must your burial cost be covered by poor citizens? Where are our priorities, Africans? We are building mansions while citizens don’t have access to potable water, sanitation, no roads to access the market for them to sell their goods to make ends meet. One can drive two hours for only 50 km, that’s how bad our roads are and in the process you are burning fuel costs again and you become poorer. I can’t comprehend what we are doing year in and out. We are sending permanent secretaries to Singapore to benchmark and come implement what they have learned but due to rigid policies, poor priorities they have set for themselves, upon their return they even forget they’ve been to Singapore, some only remember the tall buildings but forget the reasons why they were on outreach programmes to Asia. We are so fascinated by urban settlements but we forget our villages where we come from. While we are given the mandate to administer with the whole your rural area where you are coming from. Urbanisation challenges we are experiencing today are a sign that we have forgotten where we are coming from and our sister, brother, uncle, children, mum and dad, they are following us to come and experience those nice things that are stopping us from coming back home on a regular basis. To come and see how powerful their siblings are but are unable to bring those needy services to where they were born. If each and every region can have a manufacturing plant that Namibia can produce 14 products or more, then each region at least will have up to 200 or more people employed in those factories and people will forget about urbanisation and we will not have people that will escape to Europe for greener pastures – by then the greener pastures are right there at the doorsteps. No slaves in Liberia, no mortality cases in the Red Sea and Mediterranean Sea. Let’s rise. * Vetaruhe Kandorozu is Nudo deputy secretary-general and regional councillor for Okakarara Constituency.
Friday, March 9 2018| NEW ERA thought leaders 15 Councillor must come out clean on selling state land There is much expectation on the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) to deal decisively with corruption, something, as a matter of fact, it has not been able to deal decisively with, close to 13 years now after the Last year, a councillor in one of the constituencies in the Omaheke Region went on NBC radio about the wholesale of communal land, which is state land, implicating traditional leaders in this corrupt act. I alerted a colleague in the newsroom to further follow this matter up, which resulted in a confession by the said councillor. Such and similar acts of corruption have been rife in communal areas in the regions of Omaheke and Otjozondjupa. As a corollary, this information and/or acts of corruption must also somehow have reached the ears of the traditional authorities that be, particularly those of the traditional leaders who may not have been implicated, and thus the chiefs of such authorities. More often than not, Namibian officialdom makes society believe that corruption is to become endemic to Namibia, or the red lights have not been excuse of high-ranking public to account for any corrupt acts, and resultantly brought to book. question flatly denies ever implicating traditional leaders. the councillor’s voice was recorded on NBC, and thus there was clear evidence of his confessions. traditional leaders have not only been basking in their ill-gotten kickbacks, which by now may also have evaporated in thin air, but they may as much be continuing with their corrupt acts unabated. I n a w a y , b o t h the councillor and my colleague cannot but be accused of unwittingly conniving with columnist is equally guilty for not being persistent and insistent on his reporter pursuing the story to its logical conclusion. Yours truly concedes that he should have advised his colleague to not take the councillor’s denial at face value but go a step further to verify the claims. on the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) to deal decisively with corruption, something, as a matter of fact, it has not been able to deal decisively with, close to 13 years now after the establishment inimitable councillor, and his subsequent denial that he may have said what he said, and the lack of will and determination by members of the media, surely not much can be done against corruption. Not as long as this is left to the ACC alone, without the necessary cooperation from all individuals and instances in society – least the consciousness and conscientiousness of our councillors and traditional authorities. Not while those implicated in the wholesaling communal land are the very custodians of this land, and it seems they are doing it without impunity, and/ or even fear of prosecution, and against the very best wishes of their traditional communal subjects who themselves are in dire need of land. traditional authorities, as much, should and must be women and men of high integrity and moral impeccability. However, it is disturbing and worrying that traditional authorities have been equally silent in the face of such wanton wholesale of the land they are custodians of. A few, if any, traditional leaders uttered a word on such daylight robbery of the people’s land. One has yet to hear of or see any traditional leader, especially in the regions of Omaheke and Otjozondjupa, being brought to justice for these rife acts. And as much as some of these traditional leaders are and have been well-known to their traditional leaders and their chiefs, supreme leaders and/or paramount chiefs, as may be the case. communal land is not the only rot infesting these traditional authorities. Illegal fencing and favouritism in the allocation of land to the most favoured, being friends and/or relatives, and to tribal and/or political darlings, is very much in vogue and increasingly a norm, only for the very same traditional authorities to quickly point to the corruption of others, especially on the local, regional and central level of government. But believe it or not, the very same councillor who denied ever implicating traditional leaders in land wholesaling, repeated only last month. And this time we have him on record. So, Dear Councillor, here we go again. Act were signed into law by which improper conduct can be disclosed. Needless to say, the said councillor, who is also a member of parliament, and thus instrumental in the passing of the two acts, is very much been quiet about the traditional leaders, who have been selling then can members of the public be expected to make use of the And if given this attitude, even among lawmakers, can the country realistically be expected to effectively combat Questions are being raised concerning the growth and development of African countries. Are African countries in a stable position to stand on their own and operate most blessed continent with valuable resources. However, lack of leadership skills and poor political/economic practices within Africa are hindering the growth of the continent. our leaders respect and strongly govern their countries based on the principles of good governance and allow full participation of citizens in decision-making and economic development. Most of our leaders ignore the principle of Africa where there is gender equality, promising a good healthy life, promising an educated society, and promising a leadership that is about serving rather than being served; do we the society. with basic values and we need to embody them within exploited for the sustenance of those who enslaved us and continue exploiting us rather than exploited for our own strengthen the universal system of health and education delivery The Africa we want and rethink where we are, why we are there and where we could be. An educated society is a developed state. Most of African countries are focusing of working together to improve the well-being of their people. war and, as a result, we have to ask ourselves what kind of measures we have to implement and leadership we need to create that. I think we need critical self-assessment on how we govern Africa. Our leaders need to be assessed to determine their performance based on their leadership and services they are delivering. I understand that there are obstacles to African development; failure of leadership is one of the obstacles because leaders tend to get into vested in them for their own personal interest, which is a wrong practice. Leaders become too greedy and want to stay in power forever. However, we need men and women that are instead of engaging in the activities that undermine their countries. Let me not only shift blame politically independent but still being exploited and allowing the have absolute control over our own resources, full control of our own sea, mines and factories. develop their skills on how to work for themselves and feed their own nations. where our leaders hold two or three positions at a time while are capable of doing the job. However, such posts are occupied make their packages fat. How can we reduce unemployment if competent and skilled youth and other activists that are trying to speak out on the wrong practices done by our leaders but their ideas are taken as insults. Now, the question is, where are we heading if our leaders don’t want to be questioned or held trust in policies and programmes perused by leaders are two critical leadership problems among African countries. In my view, for Africa to be changed to a better home, good leadership will be crucial to enable Africans to exploit the window of opportunity that has opened up in the past decades, notably natural resources. Voting into power competent leaders that are skilled and resourceful and who can be held accountable may be more important for the development and transformation focus on good leadership in order to reach global potential. supremacy and dependency syndrome and start working hard to achieve our vision as Africans. Africans should be given equal opportunities to participate in economic activities to boost economic development within done by giving back the land to pure Africans and have them trained by experts to start producing for themselves since being a landowner in Africa will bring pride, sense of worth and allows for inter-generational wealth development. competes with the rest of the world instead of sitting back and giving everything to foreigners to work for us. Greediness, selfishness and corruption polish our leadership style in order to sustain and build a strong foundation for Africa. Let Africa be ruled by competent leaders, who lead by example and have the interests of their own people at heart. *Jesaya Michael is a graduate in public management and pursuing his studies at the University of Namibia I understand that there are obstacles to African development; failure of leadership is one of the obstacles because leaders tend to get into vested in them for their own personal interest, which is a wrong practice. Leaders become too greedy and want to stay in power forever. –Jesaya Michael REZONING NOTICE (ERRATUM) Take notice that RITTA KHIBA PLANNING CONSULTANTS (TOWN AND REGIONAL PLANNERS & ENVIROMENTAL CONSULTANTS) on behalf of the owner of Erf 3511, No. 41, Agrippa Street, Katutura intends to apply to the Municipal Council of Windhoek for: 1:300 M² The previous rezoning was for Erf 3510 Agrippa Street, Katutura, but should be on Erf 3511 Agrippa Street, Katutura. Applican: P.O. Box 22543, Windhoek, 1012 Virgo Street, Dorado Park Tel: +264 61 225062 | Fax: +264 61 213158/088814935 Cell: +264 815788154 | Email: email@example.com TOWN AND REGIONAL PLANNERS & ENVIRONMENTAL CONSULTANTS