Tribalism is one of the greatest challenges in Namibia, even 29 years after independence. If one ever expects tribalism, it might be by traditional authorities who have first of all to look for their community.
Tribalism is one of the greatest challenges in Namibia, even 29 years after independence. If one ever expects tribalism, it might be by traditional authorities who have first of all to look for their community.
Corruption has a debilitating effect on the lives of thousands of people around Namibia. And usually it’s the most vulnerable members of society that are hardest hit.
I did not know that the African Union (AU) has an ambassador to the United States of America (USA). I only found out through a YouTube video shared by a friend on Wednesday.
One of the most studied writers in the history of mankind is British playwright William Shakespeare, whose first play titled Henry VI Part 2, was first performed in 1590 in Britain.
Yesterday I was greatly honoured to welcome stakeholders who showed up at the official launch of the Sadc Regional Appeal for Humanitarian Assistance in response to Tropical Cyclone Idai that unfortunately heavily affected, last month, three of Sadc member states, namely; the republics of Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe.
On 20th March 2019 on my way to the 29th Independence Day celebration in Windhoek, I stopped in Rehoboth to pay a courtesy visit to a retired church minister whom I met in 2007 in Luderitz where he was preaching at a funeral of one of my deceased family members.
On the sidelines of a conference titled Colonial Repercussions: Reflecting on the Genocide of the Ovaherero and Nama Peoples 115 Years Later, held in Windhoek last week at the Goethe Institut Namibia, US- based Jephta Nguherimo, a co-founder of the Institute of the Nama, Ovaherero, Ovambanderu and Nama Genocide (ONGI) in the USA, interestingly observed that these days, if ever, Namibians more often talk about rain than they do about genocide and reparations.
An omundonga would say “ya vala oyiikutha molweendo” - loosely translated to mean he/she that has given birth has lessen their own burden. As such, the late Omukwaniilwa Kauluma Elifas’s burden is not only lessened by his biological children. It is also lessened by his extended children – the generality of the Aandonga people.
Graduation time is a special time that signifies that students have achieved their qualifications, and that they deserve to celebrate with their parents, guardians, friends and classmates. It is a time at the end of degree programmes that crowns the work or qualification.
As a big banner showing the words “One Namibian House” was displayed at the Independence Stadium on Saturday, 21 March 2019, during the celebrations of 29 years of the independence of Namibia, there was a huge ovation from every corner of the Stadium.
On Tuesday of this week the Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) had consultations with political parties and whoever else regarding the vexed issue of having paper trail when using the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) of which Namibia is a pioneer in their use in the Southern African Development Community (Sadc).
Scholars in decoloniality are spreading the good gospel according to the total decolonisation of tertiary education and advocating for an era in which African universities will use curricula that are free from the vices or evils of colonialism, apartheid and imperialism.
Jariretundu Kozonguivi, an intellectual militant internationalist was a brainchild of the African National Congress in Eastern Cape while at Fort Hare University, while Sam Nujoma is a crude breed of the railway contract labour system that forced him to adopt African nationalism to fight for their rights.
After more than two years of waiting in exasperation, excitement, hope, expectations and uncertainty, the judge in the class action brought by the Ovaherero, Ovambanderu and Nama against the government of the Federal Republic of Germany has delivered her verdict.
I have a longstanding passion for motivational or inspirational material. Quick research shows that I am not alone. An actress once compared the inspirational or encouraging words to the daily intake of vitamins. At its most effective delivery, motivation may very well be the crutch that moves one from stasis to breakthrough.
Goran Hyden is right when he says, “Turing the despair and pessimism that affects large sectors of the African people into hope and optimism will require from the planners of African development to re-inspect the premises upon which they have based their planning to date. No one escapes this challenge: there are no short cuts to progress.”
An article titled ‘A parliament of the elderly’ that appeared in The Patriot newspaper of 8 March 2019 is, to all intends and purposes, fake news that seeks to distort gains made by the ruling party Swapo in being an all inclusive party represented in parliament by a diverse set of individuals of a different range of age groups.
We live in interesting times where members of our society have awoken from slumber to learn what they should have known from the dawn of independence in 1990 that every Namibian is guaranteed certain rights in the national constitution, including the right to participate in presidential elections as an independent candidate.
A marketing morass. This is how the prevailing persistent situation of livestock marketing in most communal areas of the country can aptly and shortly be described.
I recall a real breaking news item from way back in 2004. Kimani Maruge, who was then eighty-four years of age, had enrolled for his first class at primary school. This followed the Kenyan government’s offer of free primary education.
Since independence, Namibia has managed to get one thing right, which was to maintain peace and stability; or prevent mass violence and physical chaos.
Following the readings, the Council of Churches in Namibia (CCN), is advocating for the regulation of churches by limiting the establishment of churches to those who meet basic criteria, including basic theological training of religious leaders.
He featured in the breed of medics who served as the bridge that brought us over the river of turmoil during the struggle for justice and they became the cradle for our cause: Neville Cupido, Thomas Ihuhua, Hala Hochobeb, Gerson Gonteb,
“They (commissions of inquiry) have different status and take various forms but, in common with Royal Commissions
My young brother and I took a bus trip to Victoria Falls in early January. We used the promises of reliability, comfort and safety to choose our mode of travel. However, seemingly endless and unscheduled stops spoilt the flavour of the journey.
I was fortunate to recently attend the launch of the RUDN-IUM Centre for Russian Language and Pre-Graduate Studies in partnership with the Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia (RUDN University), in an effort to foster the
As the world steadily moves into the Fourth Industrial Revolution, countries have to strengthen their research output in order to survive in this knowledge-based economy.
Venezuela has been in the headlines for several weeks and most of the western and global mass media paint a picture of a dictatorial government oppressing its people. Outside interventions, including economic and financial sanctions and th
The Constituency Development Fund Bill was channeled by the National Council to the National Assembly in 2015 as a means to empower the local communities at constituency level, with resources, to design and implement development projects with positive impact for each community.
A good seven or ten years back the world converged on Namibia with 650 hotel bookings culminating into a total audience of 700 [people] from around the globe to witness this adventure, the first on the African continent.
World-class universities such as the University of Oxford, University of Harvard, Cambridge University, University of Melbourne, University of Cape Town, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, have extraordinary institutional sagas that have shaped their trajectories of academic excellence over the years.
“The kingdom of heaven suffers violence and the violent take it by force.”
Why is Kwame Nkrumah, Ghana’s first president, still remembered long after he was overthrown and his body decomposed in the swallowing land of his home village, Nkroful? Since Nkrumah, Ghana had more than 10 Heads of State, including Hilla Limann.
It cannot be only the Topnaar community, nor only the Nama, who must be left to mourn their servant since he fell on January 25.
An in-depth statistical analysis of the voting outcome of the Swapo Party congress of 2017 brings forth questions
University students, I have deliberately chosen to address the contentious issue of academic dishonesty and cheating at the beginning of your first semester so that you can be warned of the consequences of academic fraud before it is too late.
The English Premier League has remained consistent by the extent to which it is never predictable. My friends Peter Denk of Liverpool and Ruben Prinz of Manchester United are now visible for a change and they phone me almost every second day for a reason, because their teams have traded places with mine, Chelsea.
It is now general knowledge that another round of talks in the never-ending negotiations between the government of the Republic of Namibia and the government of the Federal Republic of Germany is scheduled for next week.
Ephraim Katatu Kasuto is one of the children of the storm and features among the first black legal professionals who left an indelible mark on Namibia’s profile during the years of upheaval.
Retiring is a difficult job to do (I can confirm that). It becomes especially so when one does not have anyone to share work memories with. As a result, I find myself feeding from my inboxes. It is a daily binge. I try however to stay clear of negative conversations while participating in and following those which give value to relationships.
On Wednesday this week farmers in the region of Omaheke converged in the Cattle Country, as Gobabis is popularly known, to ponder pertinent issues of grave concern to the farming community.
As of 2018, Namibia had about 22 accredited vocational training centres (VTCs), some of which are owned by the government and others privately owned.
Navigating the murky waters of sexual orientation in a world where universal human rights and the right of an individual to practice any profession of their choosing presents an emotional minefield where homophobia, the right of a child to safety and the duties of parents to safeguard their children from harm cross at an intersection of rights, customs, the needs of the community, national and international education policy and the law as established by the Constitution of Namibia.
One of the foundational pillars that define democracy as the fairest form of governing that humanity has come up with thus far is that of “freedom of speech” as a human right.
Between 27th June and 1st July 2011 a national consensus building exercise period aiming at the renewal of commitment to education for every sector in Namibia took place. This was done under the theme: “Collective delivery on education promise: Improving the education system for quality learning outcomes and quality of life”. It was attended by more than one thousand participants across all sectors, regions and socia
The most important issue in a mission is this element of word and action. There are those who think that a mission is primarily about talking but if we take a look at the biblical tradition, we will see that the sharp distinction which we are inclined to draw between word and action is not in fact there anymore.
The demand for doctoral degrees has risen to unprecedented levels for various reasons the world over, leading to ordinary, well-known and high-profile people being entangled in the fake PhDs web.
In 1997, celebrated Oshiwambo novelist and author Angula T. Ndjembo published an Oshiwambo drama titled ‘Okana oke eta ekumbu lyamwene’.
A synoptic overview of Indian Foreign Policy from the perspective of early 2019 throws up some broad conceptual themes: neighbourhood first; balancing the continental and the maritime; balancing regional and extra regional powers;
Divergent to reports that Sadc has been dilly-dallying with indecisiveness on the outcome of the recently concluded elections in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), or as some critics claimed, has supposedly betrayed genuine democracy for political friendship with President Joseph Kabila, the regional body led by its venerable Chairperson, President Dr. Hage G. Geingob, has as per the accepted international norms, taken a farsighted decisive position in the best interest of lasting peace, stability and democracy for the people of the DRC.
Lately a section of the Ovambanderu, Ovaherero and Nama who are associated, or are close to, and in the centre or even on the periphery of the ongoing reparations negotiations between the government of the Republic of Namibia and the government of the Federal Republic of Germany, are and have been on road shows countrywide.
All forward-looking and visionary societies adhere to progressive norms, rules and values that guide, instruct and direct such societies for their own good. It is for this reason that we have what is called the rule of law, where laws are written and enacted to ensure that the society which makes up a nation dynamically advances in an orderly way.
This year has been declared a year of accountability by the Head of State, Dr Hage Geingob. Is accountability, in this election year, a one-off matter that re-occurs only once every five years or a consistent vow that will be seen every day?
Marine and coastal areas of the Atlantic Coast in West, Central and Southern Africa contribute hugely to economic development of countries which shares this ocean, through activities such as fishing, maritime transportation, oil and gas exploration and tourism.
When the South African regime in the mid to late fifties decided to move blacks from the then “Old Location” to Katutura, the move sparked discontent and led to the shootings in the area and summary relocation of all the black residents under duress.
Yours truly could not help but muse after reading an article in the Afrikaans medium local newspaper, Republikein, last Friday.
The memorial service and State funeral of former Plan commander Matias ‘Mbulunganga’ Ndakolo on 7 December unearthed the deep-seated wounds of Namibia’s veterans of the liberation struggle, who engaged the enemy directly in battle at the frontlines during Namibia’s war of liberation from apartheid colonisation.
When we look at and take into consideration all aspects or critical areas that determine and enhance the advancement of African households, communities and societies at large, we will conclude it has affected women more than men and children.
Biodiversity is defined as the variety of living organisms found within a specified geographic region. The conservation of biodiversity on the other hand is about saving life on Earth in all its forms and keeping natural ecosystems functioning and healthy. Stated simply, the environment refers to the surroundings or space in which persons, animals and plants live or operate.
Local Economic Development practice (LED) is about maximising human welfare and providing a sound economic, social and environmental base for both present and future generation.
The closest perhaps that the Traditional Authorities Act of 2000 comes to “area of jurisdiction” and something that may be interpreted as perhaps meaning the “area of jurisdiction” of any traditional authority, is where and when the Act in Section 5 (b) (ii) refers to “the communal area inhabited by that community”.
They have done it again. Several seasons back the Samba Boys, as Conrad Angula of the Namibian Newspaper used to call them, took the nation’s top titles.
Hot on the heels of the official designation ceremony of the Royal House of Hoveka, and its chief Turimuro Hoveka on November 24 at Eiseb
SHARM EL-SHEIKH – Unregulated conversion of forests, rangelands and other natural areas such as wetlands are detrimental to Africa’s biodiversity, which provides essential goods and services to the continent’s people.
The year 2018 has reached its evening; it was as fast as the golden queen of the tracks, Hilaria Johannes. With only two weeks left for this year, let us glorify the name of our good Lord and praise His name, for He protected us.
Carbon trading is like selling company shares on the stock market except that in this case it is not shares of a company that are sold, but shares of pollution. Globally, carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions
In the midst of our cultural consciousness, especially in Africa, one is inclined to think there exists a gap in the understanding of what really constitutes African culture, its importance and the struggle to preserve such cultures in contemporary Africa.
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.
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.
In 1986, the United Nations Institute for Namibia (UNIN) published a study titled ‘Namibia: Perspectives for National Reconstruction and Development’.
“I am not interested” “I don’t care” “Doesn’t involve me”
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.
The Otjimana royal family is part of the greatest migration of Bantu people who migrated from the great lakes of Central Africa between Lake Alexander and Lake Victoria.
It is close to three months since the return of the third consignment of human remains from Germany in August. Remains factored in the genocide of Namibian people following their wars of resistance against colonial Germany.
Fumu Erwin Mbambo Munika has been a Chief of the Hambukushu Traditional Authority since 1992. By virtue of his office, he has been a member of the Traditional Council in terms of the Traditional Council Act of 1997.
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.
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.
“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.
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)
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.
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
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”.
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.
“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.”
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
One cannot but wonder whether there is sequel three regarding the Russian billionaire Rashid Sardarov’s much talked-about purchase of four farms in Namibia.
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.
The Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) sector gained popularity and is considered a driving force for sustainable development of any country’s economy.
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.
Twenty-eight years of independence and we have not outgrown the culture of colonial sports. We still boast non-competitive development teams. Athletes run the best times against themselves, save for boxing and soccer.
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.