No Reverse Discrimination


William J. Mbangula

ANYTHING that is overdone is always wrong.

Some demands are extremely dangerous and treacherous, to say the least.

When I look at the demands such as: the government must pay N$500 000 to each ex-PLAN combatant, grant fishing quotas, mining concessions and cater for the education and medical welfare of their children, then I realise they have gone overboard.

One thing I want to remind fellow Namibians is: neither did a single person nor a single strategy liberate this country.

As a result, no-one among the liberation forces should claim exclusive monopoly over the achievement of freedom.

In 1989, it was estimated that about 40 000 Namibians, irrespective of their political affiliations, were in exile and returned home. If all these people had voted Swapo alone, they could only have given it four seats because the minimum votes required for a single seat then was about 9 000.

Swapo was brought to power by 384 567 votes (57.33 %) which gave it 41 seats. (Read Elections in Namibia by G.K.H.Totemeyer, et al), Gamsberg Macmillan, 1996).

While I do not underestimate the contribution made by ex-PLAN fighters, I find it very unreasonable when some of them make demands beyond the economy of the country can afford. That is tantamount to sabotage. I wish to emphasise that Swapo as a liberation movement adopted a three-pronged strategy in order to force colonial South Africa out of Namibia. This was military, political and diplomatic. The combination of the armed struggle, the diplomatic campaign and the persistent patriotic resistance inside Namibia all contributed to the colonial power finding itself in a weak political, military, economic and financial situation, which compelled it to relinquish Namibia.

One could not have been an effective PLAN fighter if he or she was not supplied with guns, food, and transport, otherwise secured through diplomatic efforts.

Again, one could not have been an effective fighter if he/she had no support from local people who gave shelter, transport, intelligence and otherwise.

At the end of the day, the coffin of colonialism was finally nailed by the vast majority that gave Swapo 384 567 votes (41 seats). Now, why should some people make monopolistic demands for benefits and extravagance at the expense of others? Mind you, the struggle for liberation was not on the basis of benefits and rewards. If those who suffered in exile are demanding benefits and rewards, how about those who suffered at home? Who will take care of the children of those who went missing and were killed by the colonial forces such as Amutenya Ashipala (Amutanga), the Johannes and Festus Nakawa brothers (Oniipa and Ontananga), Brendan Simbwaye, Nembiya Sheya (Onamukulo), Tshishumba Iiyambo (Ekamba), the executed Ovambanderu Chief Kahimemwa Nguvauva and many other patriots?

Please fellow countrymen and women, don’t try to create two nations in one country on the basis of the historical contribution to the liberation struggle. The government was brought about by all of us and thus belongs to us all. As a result, it has responsibility over all Namibians. Please, no reverse discrimination against those who stayed on the home front.


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