The Second National Land Conference has come. And for sure some may say it is also now gone. Your columnist cannot but beg to differ with the posit that it has gone - with 63 resolutions having emerged out of it.
Roelof ‘Pik’ Botha, South Africa’s foreign minister under apartheid, who has died at the age of 86, was a man of contradictions.
The Second National Land Conference has come and gone. The foremost question among many is what it has attained. Put bluntly, was it a success or not? Yes and no, depending on which side of the land continuum you are.
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.
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.
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.
Namibia held its historic 2nd national land conference from the 1st to the 5th of October 2018 at a local hotel in Windhoek. This national land conference was initially supposed to be held in 2017 but due to certain reasons was eventually postponed to 2018 and as they say, the rest is history.
It would be a missed opportunity if Namibia cannot in all earnest chart a new path and a new beginning towards a radical transformation on the land question.
Faced with a saturated market in China and trade barriers from the west, Africa is the ideal destination for Chinese state-owned and private companies to set up a commercial presence.
Freedom of speech is a constitutional right of all the people in Namibia but when people exercise this right they also have to be careful and sensitive to other people’s feelings and rights.
From the historic Silk Road that connected Asia to Europe, to the complementary Maritime Silk Road which starts in China, through the Indian Ocean littoral to East Africa and then to Europe, to what is now known as the Belt and Road Initiative, China has played and continues to play an important role in the world economy.
Back in the day, children would play outside, never knew where babies come from and only referred to sex as ‘fiki-fiki’! That is not the case with modern day children – these ones know everything!
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.
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.
Former United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan died recently at the age of 80. He had spent almost half of his life at the UN headquarters where he began his career as a junior official and rose to the highest position of the secretary general.
Is this time really ticking, and fast for that matter towards the Second National Land Conference with barely two weeks before the much anticipated Land Conference.
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
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.
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.
Since the establishment of the Namibia Qualification Authority (NQA), through the act of parliament, Act 29 of 1996, there has been a tremendous improvement in the quality assurance of qualifications in Namibia.
Human remains kept by German institutions as part of their colonial loot were repatriated to Namibia at the end of August 2018– the third time this has been done. And once again, the process was marred by serious friction, a clear illustration that both the German and Namibian governments have not come to terms with the problems involved.
Last Friday - like on many other similar occasions before - saw a solemn event during the official reception of the third repatriation of the mortal remains of those who perished in the wars of resistance, and ultimately in the resultant 1904-1908 genocide.
On behalf of Namibian, I wish to express my utmost gratitude to Chinese President Xi Jinping, the government and the fraternal people of the People’s Republic of China, for the warm hospitality extended to us during our visit to the FOCAC Summit in China.
British consumers – including me – are partial to some Mozambican cashews, Namibian beef or South African apples. That’s just part of the reason why the UK government has made it a priority to ensure continuity in trade with Southern Africa as the UK leaves the EU.
The Namibia Student Financial Assistance Fund (NSFAF) Act No.26 of 2000 came into being and operational in 2000, replacing the Public Service Bursary Scheme whose purpose was to train people to work solely in the civil service.
Industrialisation has been highlighted in the local media particularly after 38 SADC summits held recently in Windhoek Namibia.
Apparent from our previous piece is that most of the resolutions reflected dealt with activities in commercial areas. This part will therefore in the main be dedicated to resolutions dealing with communal area matters. Access to communal land
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.
Progressive leadership focuses on a continuous journey, the constant reshaping of vision and outcomes to navigate specific challenges.
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.
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.
Our world is facing complex problems that can only be tackled if we break away from old ideas that human rights are about some forms of injustice that people face, but not others. The patterns of oppression that we’re living through are interconnected.
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.
Predictably, and as some observers expected, including this columnist, the hearing in the Class Case brought by the Ovaherero and Nama against the German government last Wednesday was without any immediate closure, with the judge deferring the judgement.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The debate on whether there is ancestral land in Namibia has defied pressure to recede for good. There are calls that the discussion on ancestral land is misplaced and must cease, amid rage contained in the breasts of communities whose ancestors lost land and wealth.
‘This issue has history’. That was my first statement when I was interviewed on Radio Energy this past month about small to medium enterprises who have their money stuck in the defunct SME Bank as recently reported in New Era.