Youth activism and the search for clarity


As I joined young professionals in Ongwediva for the launch of the Oshana Consortium 101 last week, I was pleasantly pleased at the determination to economically liberate their generation.

This wind of youth activism and mental clarity on economic empowerment is blowing nationally. It is unstoppable. It is their time, they are 26 years old and younger. And I give salutations to the patriotic young people of today. This is the inevitability of biology and it cannot be amended.

I was barely 18 years old when I voted for the first time. It was on November 8 1989 at Ndiyona in the Gciriku district of Kavango. I recall vividly the rancorous atmosphere that preceded the elections. I remember the suffering endured by many, especially those in rural areas.

There was no child of my generation who had not endured the humiliation of seeing their parents or family members beaten up by Koevoets. You may know that Kavango was one of those places deployed with heavy Koevoet presence during apartheid colonialism.

The 1989 election results were announced over the radio intermittently. It started with Bethanie and town after town: DTA seemed poised to win. There was panic all over in the rank-and-file of Swapo members and supporters.

It was the results from Kavango, which quashed the hopes of DTA, and those from Owamboland buried DTA forever. Victory drums of Swapo sounded in every corner of the country. The rest is history.

It is the dream of all that the future of Namibia must be better, not worse.

As Aristotle informed us in his book, ‘Politics: A Treatise on Government’: “In the ideal state, power will be given to the man with most knowledge of the good; in other states to the men who are most truly capable of achieving that end which the citizens have set themselves to pursue. The justest distribution of political power is that in which there is least waste of political ability.”

It is thus the prerogative of the electorate to express opinions about the State or government performance. The past 26 years gives us the opportunity to celebrate. but also to evaluate the players on the field of governance.

We know those who have been consistent and unwavering, and we know those who have wavered along the way, and those who betrayed the trust of Swapo Party ideals and their responsibilities to the Namibian people.

It is suggested in some quarters that because we have been expelled from Swapo, unprocedural as it was, it means we must no longer have a tongue to speak with. And while on this matter, I am conscious it is now before court and our position remains that the case is sub judice and our faith in the justice system remains strong.

Many of us have voted Swapo since Independence and we will continue doing so.

The footprints of our ideological standing remain unfettered and consistent, and we have never been helter skelter on articulating issues, regardless of the consequences. We have done this ndjikitiliously, because life is our right and oxygen is free from God for the rich and the poor; for the powerful and for the meek.

The Consortium 101 concept, as initiated by the young patriots of Oshana, gives a practical indication that the struggle for economic independence will not be fought and won by the old political freedom fighters, but by younger generations of economic freedom fighters.

These young patriots, such as those who are students in our schools and universities, or those in the Swapo Party Pioneer Movement, Swapo Party Youth League, Ovambanderu Youth League and other youth formations, like Nanso, AR, Muzokumwe Volunteer Organisation or SCM, have the energy to take the torch forward.

We must not create political sungura in their generation, with cheap and hand-clapping bribery positions. We must implore them to work hard, study regularly, plan diligently and implement their goals and dreams patriotically.

It is my fervent belief, finally, that the only true investment we must make as a country is in the quality education of our children. We must invest heavily in research and innovation to transform our society towards a practical knowledge-based society.

This investment must ensure that every child is given a good start socially, spiritually, technologically and culturally. As I have said in the past, this would require a practical investment in all our villages and communities. Every village must have water and sanitation in their households.

Every community should have a health facility within less than two-kilometre walking distance. Green schemes at a small scale must be in every village. This means, a deliberate effort must be made to subsidise staple food of majority of our people, such as maize or mahangu flour, etc.

Our precious resource must be the Namibian people and every person is an important brick in nation-building. Those hard-working public servants must be remunerated commensurate with their patriotic dedication.

Going forward, no one must be viewed as a voting cow in a free and independent Namibia. Electoral capital must be to the benefit of all Namibians, from Warmbad to Ndiyona, from Bukalo to Okanguati, from Okahao to Eenhana, from Otjombinde to Rehoboth and from Onkumbula to Windhoek – in all 121 constituencies of our 14 regions.

God Bless Namibia!


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