By Job Amupanda
A tendency has been allowed, in our movement, to discard theory in the national project although theory is the basis for every practice. This tendency must be discouraged without fail if we are to deliver a developmental state.
Much of what has gone wrong and is going wrong is that study and analysis of the national question, by stewardship is not a priority. As such, study and apt analysis of the national project must be encouraged and pursued continuously and impenitently. If one is to conduct analysis of the national question, but fail to mention the Swapo Party Youth League (SPYL), then such a person does not deserve to be taken seriously by the thinking amongst us. The media is central in this analysis. Some un-reading elements within and outside the movement are of a different view, hence constant bickering about the SPYL stewardship symbiotic relationship with the media.
That we are loved by many journalists and hated by few foulmouthed operated journalists is no coincidence; it is because of our uncompromising adherence to Article 13 (4) of our constitution charging the SPYL Secretary for Information, Publicity and Mobilization with a task of “the dissemination of information on SPYL activities to the SPYL members, the public, Africa and the world.” This is so and will continue.
Although everyone has an opinion of SPYL, it is evident that many are oblivious to our operations, activities and programme of action. Even if we speak only for one minute, the country is already vibrating. Such attractiveness fare is attributable to that we are the only vibrant and relevant youth league this country has known. That we are the only relevant youth league in the country is not an accountability obligation to rowdy elements and pedestrian non-SPYL members. The fact that SPYL is the most relevant does not mean one is automatically a member, without a membership card, just because they possess a SPYL T-shirt. If we allow such tendencies to thrive unchecked, then we render our constitution obsolete. The Englishman was not drunk in making a distinction between a ‘member’, ‘supporter’ or a ‘fan’, and a ‘sympathizer’. That we are the most relevant – a national agenda setter – and a sharp body of opinion and direction in the Swapo Party means youth must become members of the SPYL, not by mouth, but in terms of Chapter 2 in general and article 4 to 8 in particular, of the SPYL constitution. We have structures in all 14 regions and in all 107 constituencies of this country. In whatever town or village, 99.9 percent chance is that a SPYL structure exists.
The direction, perspective and programme of action of the current SPYL leadership concerns us today. It is known, by serious political observers, that the SPYL leadership direction, perspective and programme of action is based on 3 key pillars: Youth Empowerment, Rural Development and Genuine Economic Empowerment. The SPYL 5th Congress in 2012 reaffirmed and buttressed the centrality of the 3 pillars in our programme of action. After the revelation, by the Namibian Statistics Agency, that about 400 000 Namibians live in shacks the SPYL National Executive Committee resolved at Valgraas that the pillar of Rural Development be amended to include this sad reality. It is now Rural & Informal Settlement Development. Indeed, Youth Empowerment, Rural Development & Informal Settlement Development and Genuine Economic Empowerment are our bullets as we march towards Total Economic Freedom. Our programme of action is summarized into an accessible language as the struggle for “Bread and Butter issues.”
The unthinking amongst us may ask why Youth Empowerment, Rural & Informal Settlement Development and Genuine Economic Empowerment. Firstly, it is national knowledge that more than half of this country is young. If we are to develop this country, seriously so, it would be a terrible and horrible disaster if empowering the majority of this nation’s population, which is the youth, is not number one on the list. As such Youth Empowerment is sacrosanct.
Secondly, it is a statistical fact that again more than half of Namibians live in rural areas, languishing in poverty and despondency. The rural masses, reduced to voting cows, lack basic services and live in a country as if they were still second-class citizens. Scandalously, the majority of top society is from rural areas – why they leave rural areas underdeveloped is something they are to explain to us after satisfying their stomachs in posh hotels. Our programme of action calls for Rural & Informal Settlement Development fundamentally and impenitently.
Thirdly, 22 years after decolonization, the Namibian economy remains in the hands of the settler. Inequality, expectedly, remains high with our country awarded the title of one of the most unequal countries on earth (power sleeps unbothered). Blacks that entered the mainstream economy – the black bourgeoisies combined – cannot create congestion, even if they are placed in an elevator of a shopping mall. Our programme of action calls for the transformation of our economy – the empowerment of the black majority concretely, not cosmetic lip service empowerment, as we have witnessed, hence we erected (sic) the word “genuine” between economic and empowerment. This is to be implemented through state directed development and a developmental state in particular. The three central pillars are our fronts as we march towards the Economic Revolution without fail. We will direct public discourse to concentrate on the struggle for Bread and Butter issues. We will battle against incorrect ideas and anything or anyone that define or position itself/himself/herself as opposed to our programme of action.
*Job Shipululo Amupanda is the SPYL Secretary for Information, Publicity and Mobilization, a member of the SPYL 5th Central Committee and National Executive Committee of the 5th Central Committee of the SPYL.