• December 12th, 2018
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Thought Leaders

Our youth is at risk

The ever-growing misunderstanding between society, the youth and government need remedy before reaching crisis point. To a certain degree, both sides are impatient toward each other when dealing with various ways of tackling socio-economic challenges. 

Profiles of courage: Asser Kapere through time

During Namibia’s years of upheaval, Asser Kapere, affectionately known as A.K, featured prominently in different cutting-edge projects and this nimble footed, soft spoken comrade with the heart of a lion was among those children of the storm who bravely stood the test of time at the center of the storm. 

World teems with global security concerns

Twenty six years back I attended a Commonwealth Study Conference hosted by the Duke of Edinburg in Oxford, England. The conference pulled together representatives of all Commonwealth member countries to deliberate on how best to make the world a better place for all to live in.  The conference broke up in groups and I joined the group that visited Northern Ireland, the contested country, also known as Ulster by sections of the Irish community that forms that society. 

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Namibians, unite or fall further apart

In my humble and honest opinion, Namibia, a proud child of the international community and solidarity, is currently a politically and economically divided nation. And the longer we live in denial of this fact, the more we will continue to damage and destroy the full potential of this supposed to be great nation to the detrimental effect and impact of its innocent citizens. 

Fighting gender-based violence (GBV)

While in many societies women have achieved a great deal of equality and freedom to define who they are rather than be defined by the expectation of others, endemic patterns of oppression and repression continue to exist even within the same societies. 

Whither to indigenisation in Namibia

“The economic order of Namibia shall be based on the principles of a mixed economy with the objective of securing economic growth, prosperity and a life of human dignity for all Namibians,” reads article 98 of the Namibian Constitution on the Principles of Economic Order.

The purpose of the Church in society

Where is the church when millions of people choose to seek a way out of their conditions? Is there something that the church can offer to this problem? The problem of suicide in Namibia is spreading fast as statistics now show that there were 452 recorded suicidal deaths in 2017, and 131 suicidal deaths recorded between April and July 2018. This means that on average there is one suicidal death committed every day in Namibia, making it the fourth highest rated country in Africa for suicide (NSA)

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Dependency on state tenders has economic growth consequences

The Namibian government and its established entities have for far too long played a very significant role towards the economic financial stability of the country. This is through its procurement of goods and services from providers but has unfortunately in the process created a deep dependency syndrome, which going forward will be very difficult to cure. 

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The “devil-face” of Christianity and Roman-Dutch law on Olufuko

With the ongoing onslaught about the legal validity and the moral standing of Olufoko first and foremost as a customary practice, need serious public dialogue as well as sufficient intellectual clarity specifically to feed those who are inclined to believe that Africa is a haven of foreign legal systems and a place where religious doctrines are used as competent lens of human morality. Like other customs in the diversity of African 

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Who watches the watchdog?

The Windhoek Observer of Friday 05 October 2018 carried a front page report on the estate of revered struggle icon the Late Andimba Ya Toivo. The gist of the article was the distribution of the Late Veterans assets but took a rather awkward twist towards the end in mentioning that “politically connected individuals have managed to amass fortunes based on political patronage at the expense of ordinary Namibians”.

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Namibian sits on potential of victory against poverty

Namibia is a very unique African country. The country is truly a nation of contrast, of extreme natural beauty, diverse cultures and varied perspective. However, and for some reasons, the country is struggling to harness its diverse blessings to economically lift its people from poverty, destitution, hopelessness, greediness and social injustice.

Eiseb, Epukiro inhabitants must reject parochial egoism

“South African officials attempted to implement apartheid Bantustan policies in Hereroland by creating easily controlled chiefs or “traditional authorities. They attempted to achieve this by manipulating intra-Herero identity politics, promising water development to cooperative factions and denying it to the resistant majority.” 

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Zambezi floods compound human- wildlife conflict mitigation efforts

The scourge of human-wildlife conflict that has befallen the Namibian nation has triggered a debate and every Namibian should be at liberty to make a contribution to this narrative. It is a conflict that is fought in so many fronts, and in so many ways depending on the part of the country from which one hails. It is a conflict that tests how much of their country

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Becoming a knowledge-based, industrialised country

The black power activist and Muslim minister, Malcolm  X  once  said:  “Education  is  the  passport  to  the  future,  for  tomorrow  belongs  to those who prepare for it today”. Indeed without  quality  education,  including  strong  Research  and  Development  and  Innovation,  sustainable  development  is  not  possible.  

Namibia’s long-standing land issue remains unresolved

Thirty years of German settler colonialism in South West Africa – from 1884 to 1914 – paved the way for continued apartheid under South Africa. The resistance of the local communities against the invasion culminated in the first genocide of the 20th century among the Ovaherero, Nama and other groups. As main occupants of the eastern, central and southern regions of the country they were forced from their land into so-called native reserves.

Society is under siege but leaders are helpless

While the country has still been reeling from the dark cloud of the slaying of a nine-year-old pupil, the wholeness of her body yet to be recovered, and the perpetrator(s) of the heinous crime still at large, yet another grisly inhumanity has been inflicted upon another and one of her innocent members with the mutilation and rape of yet another minor.  

Namibia’s minerals belong to Namibians

The recent bombshell decision by the Minister of Mines and Energy, Mr. Tom Alweendo, to drop the local ownership empowerment criteria to apparently attract mining investors to grow the Namibian mining sector is a serious retrogressive set-back to say the least. 

A zoom into Tsau //Khaeb National Park (Sperrgebiet)

As a child born and raised in Lüderitz, I attended St. Pieters Church school in the old location now called Benguela. I can remember, since time immemorial, that the Lüderitz peri-urban areas had been out of bound for people on the grass-roots level, the Sperrgebiet. I remember our teachers telling us that they grew old without knowing the surroundings of the town that they grew so fond of.

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The role of urea in livestock nutrition

The   words   urea   (English),   “ureum”   (Afrikaans),   “oiriuma” (Otjiherero) are common to many  farmers  when  it  comes  to livestock lick supplementation. However, the use or role of urea is widely not well understood, apart from it being  labelled as a risk  to  livestock.  

Is Namibia’s agricultural land for sale or for long term lease? 

The recently signed 99-year agricultural land lease agreement by the Namibian government with the Russian billionaire Rashid Sardarov has without a doubt exposed the country to a lot of more foreign agricultural land ownership scrambles, which, if not handled properly and urgently, could open up the country to the highest bidder or assumed investors.    

Our road to Damascus

Saul’s experience on the road to Damascus can be mistaken for the classic story of repentance: the sinner whose sense of guilt opens himself to Jesus’ saving grace. But by his own light, and those of his community, Saul, the Jew from Tarsus, was doing no wrong in trying to suppress a descending movement within Judaism. It took Jesus to show him the error of his ways. 

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Ethical community activism: The case of Olupaka Combined School

In African cultures, the spirit of giving back to the community form the humanistic foundation of ethics and it is central in contemplating African morality. Ethics are intended to guide the conduct of people in society and therefore shape us to do what is right for the society not only by virtue of being good but also by being productive, which includes ploughing back into the societies we live in. 

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Eulogising Desie Natangwe Heita

A week ago, we have carried a heavy burden of grief on our hearts. Our souls have refused to be stilled. Our spirits have sunk under the unbearable weight of an unexpected shock. The silent tears of despair have watered our cheeks. Crying has not been enough to contain the pain we feel. 

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This is our ancestral land

As we recently concluded the second national land conference, I thought I should correct some wrong perceptions held by those championing the ancestral land debate. I believe that wrong perceptions are a result of miseducation of those making these wild ancestral land claims.

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Desie Heita is not dead

“Reserve me a page for my land feature. The coverage so far is simply vomit of what we are all watching and hearing on TV and radio. It lacks in-depth analysis of the issues being debated.”

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Land: Lessons Namibia can learn from Zimbabwe

There are many lessons that the Namibia land redistribution process can learn from the experiences of neighbours Zimbabwe.  An article by Crecey Kuyedzwa of Fin24 on a few lessons South Africa can learn from Zimbabwe in land redistribution captured my attention.  There are many other lessons to learn from Zimbabwe but I decided to discuss the few below.

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Who really stands to benefit from land?

The EFF leads the political conversation on land in South Africa. It, through its leader Julius Malema, has managed to firmly lodge the land question into our collective consciousness like never before in South Africa’s post-apartheid history. 

Grade retention or automatic promotion – which way to go?

The pendulum had been swinging, the world over, between the two opposing academic promotion policies, that is, grade retention/repetition and automatic/ social promotion. Automatic/social promotion is the practice where learners are advanced from one grade to the next, at the end of the school year regardless of the educational attainment of these learners

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Bequeath to them nationalism and not tribalism

Our population is young. They are young with bright minds, full of energy, vigour and thirst for knowledge. They are students, they are workers, they are voters and the majority of them are unemployed. Our future can be hopeful and it must be hopeful. There is no choice of failure.

Heroes Day commemorations linger with deep reflections

On the 26th of August of each year, those who chased the struggle in the bush, those who buried the victims of Apartheid and fed the hungry victims inside the figurative belly of the beast, sit with a private tear on their face, reflecting on events that characterize the struggle of the people of the then South West Africa. 

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Taking stock of the 1991 land conference consensus resolutions

With the second national land conference about six weeks away, it seems appropriate to reflect on the major conclusions of the National Conference on Land Reform and the Land Question, dubbed the “First Land Conference”, held during June-July 1991. The fact that the conference decisions are referred to as consensus resolutions suggests that most of the decisions were arrived at as a result of compromise, in the spirit of give and take that prevailed at the Constituent Assembly two years prior.

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In memory of ‘stubborn optimist’ Kofi Annan

Kofi Annan often described himself as a ‘stubborn optimist’. Winston Churchill defined an optimist as one who “see the opportunity in every difficulty.” Kofi Annan was, indeed, an eternal optimist who always faced seemingly insuperable challenges with such optimism that in the end, would lead to a solution. Kofi – whose name means born on Friday and his middle name Atta means twin - had a twin sister, Efua, who died in 1990.

Repatriates from Botswana, are they not just mere pawns in the game of numbers?

It must be granted that Batswana and South Africans of Namibian descent are, historically and politically speaking, bona fide Namibian citizens. This is once the necessary legalities and/or political and diplomatic essentials among the respective three neighbouring countries have been completed, thus paving the way for the repatriation, of those who would voluntarily wish to return to their motherland, or fatherland.

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Katjavivi responds to the Open Letter by Dr Shejavali

Dr Abisai Shejavali wrote an Open Letter to me as the Speaker of the National Assembly. This letter was published in the New Era newspaper of 27 July 2018. It covered a broad array of issues, several of which do not necessarily fall under the mandate of Parliament. I now hereby take the opportunity to reply to my good friend’s Open Letter, by identifying the key issues he raised as follows.

Obey thy teacher’s commandments

I have never quite understood why rich kids often talk back to teachers. I mean, for us who grew up in the hood - a teacher’s wish was your command! You asked no questions, offered no comments - you just got your lazy behind up and do whatever the heck he/she asked you to. That is, of course, if you knew what’s good for you.

Outlook on contested realisation of development in Namibia

From the outset, one has to understand what this means multifaceted, difficult and contested word, ‘development’. The Society for International Development defines development as a process that creates growth, progress, and positive change to the physical, economic, environmental, and social life of citizens. The purpose of development is a rise in the level and quality of life of the people, employment opportunities without damaging the resources of the environment.

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The secessionists in the Zambezi lack an internalised foe

This article is meant to present my contribution to the prickly debate that is underway on Facebook, especially among the residents of the Zambezi Region. It is my desire to demonstrate the intellectual bankruptcy embedded in the contributions made by the sympathisers of the secessionists, as these individuals seem to be motivated by nothing else but family loyalism, and utter indiscretion. It is quite irritating when the residents of this region are again and again drawn back to the debate of an issue that exists in the minds of individuals who failed in their pursuit of different careers. These individuals have used their failure, and the bad experience associated with it, to justify the secession of the Zambezi Region from Namibia. It is so sad that these individuals have won sympathisers among innocent fellows who have failed to rise above imaginary tribal boundaries either due to sheer absurdity, or little education.

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The issue of ancestral land – can it be discussed at land conference?

The highly controversial, contentious and sensitive issue, which might divide the Namibian people, is the issue of the land taken from those who were forced to withdraw from the lands on which they pastured their animals to let the colonialists take over and pasture their animals on those lands. Between 1893 and 1903 the Germans went on a rampage of expropriating land and animals from specific groups of people. This process became even worse when German colonial forces decided to exterminate the Ovaherero and Nama people during 1904-1908. The South African regime, which took over the country from the Germans, continued with the land expropriation of some of the groups of this country, and victims of this land expropriation are known and they were the people who owned the land in the South and Central parts of the country. The descendants of those people are the ones who are demanding restoration of ancestral land rights today.