• October 20th, 2018
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Thought Leaders

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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.