Swapo Party Youth League (SPYL) leader Dr Elijah Ngurare has encouraged young people to stand together, just like the ‘old guard’ of the liberation struggle, known as the ‘Tanganyika group’.
Tanganyika group, or Tanga group, is a reference to the first wave of Swapo activists that went into exile during the country’s liberation struggle.
Ngurare made the call while speaking at a public lecture on Tuesday attended by about 200 young people, entitled ‘The Intergenerational Politics and the Dream of Sustainable Development in Namibia’, at the Katutura Youth Multi-Purpose Centre that was organised by the Affirmative Repositioning movement.
“If you look at those who are old – the Tanganyika group – you see they can fight and use you to fight, but they end up sticking together,” he said, adding that instead of uniting, today’s youth end up fighting each other with some pretending to be peacemakers.
“But when you ask them what peacemakers they are talking about, they will tell you that you are anti-Hage [Geingob],” Ngurare observed. The beleaguered SPYL leader further advised the youth not to fight each other but to rather direct their attention and focus on bread and butter issues.
“Just like in politics, there is no country that will subordinate its economic interest in favour of another. You can say China is our friend, yes, but they will never leave the pursuit of their own interest to [advance] our interest,” he said, adding that every generation must define what is important to them.
A quality assurance coordinator at the University of Namibia, the 46-year-old Ngurare also discussed issues such as intergenerational politics, generational sovereignty and generational representation, among others.
He said when the government of one generation creates financial debts repayable by later generations, it engages in taxation without representation.
Ngurare said the obligation rests with the elders to avoid indebting the future generations and impeding future citizens’ ability to shape their own socio-economic or political life. He went on to say that in many countries, including Namibia, it is commonly said that the youth are the future leaders.
“This clearly implies that there is an obligation on the present generation of rulers to have youth representation in decision-making.
“It is also a commendable fact that in so many countries, including Namibia, a sizeable number of youthful lawmakers are noticeable,” he said.
Ngurare further advised the audience to get involved, to go to, listen to and respect the people, to participate in the governance of the country and to participate in political parties’ structures and act in the interest of the people and country.
Ngurare and founding members of the Affirmative Repositioning group, Job Amupanda, George Kambala and Dimbulukeni Nauyoma, were expelled from the ruling party Swapo Party for their activism, before the High Court ordered their reinstitution to the party.