• July 10th, 2020

Is Namibia a utopian state?

The rule of politics is that, “if you think don’t speak and if you speak, don’t write and if you write, deny everything.” Namibia to some degree epitomizes this state of politics. It is a state of denials and therefore people are usually left with no choice but guessing, Hereunder are few examples which can testify the degree of denials:.

The genocide
For 30 years after independence, the Government has dillydallied about the issue of genocide and failed to see the urgency of addressing it. This is what Mbaeva (2013) alludes to in his dissertation, “Relevance of History Books in Grade 10 in Namibia,” – that other crucial historical national issues are demeaned. The fact that genocide, which is the dark side of our history, has been taken lightly by the succeeding administrations speaks volumes. It has been Herero and Nama communities spearheading the reparations from the German government.  The current Head of State’s efforts to negotiate a better reparation deal is commendable. But the dragging of feet over the years on genocide clearly demonstrates that some national leaders have been in denial about its occurrence from 1904 to 1908. In seriousness, this part of the first liberation struggle was supposed to be accorded a national holiday status like Cassinga.

The Mafulo shooting
In 1962 the Caprivi African National Union (CANU), the only political party in the Zambezi Region at that time, was launched and was led by Brendan Kangongolo Simbwae, deputized by Mishake Muyongo. During the same year, Simbwae was arrested as he was about to address the first general political meeting at Mafulo (now Highway Garage) about two kilometres west of Katima Mulilo. Police officers Grobler, Bosman and Hartman fired at CANU activists who scattered and scampered in all directions, running for their lives.  Mishake Muyongo later led a group of young Caprivians into exile in Zambia while some were forced to cross the Zambezi River and others fled as far as Mambova, near Livingstone. The Mambova group included among others Mishake Muyongo, Albert Zacharia Ndopu, Tongo Simasiku, Richard Kapelwa Kabajani and Prince George Mutwa. 

This flight hatched the unification between SWAPO and CANU on 5 November 1964, which was signed by Sam Nujoma and Albert Mishake Muyongo on behalf of their two peoples according to the preamble of the merger. This shooting took place before Omungulumumbashe in August 1966. 
Surprisingly this part of the liberation struggle is never mentioned in the Namibian history books and politicians. Some scholars have argued that the first bullet of the second liberation struggle was fired at this Mafulo political rally in Katima Mulilo.

Reconciliation Policy
It is paradoxical that some Namibian politicians preach about the reconciliation policy, which is not documented. They should know that independence euphoria is over and Namibians are coming of age politically. Therefore, no amount of bragging and rhetoric will bury what Namibians went through at the hands of comrades and the racist South African regime. In Silozi, there is a saying, “taba haiboli,” meaning a case cannot become stale. No matter how long the postponement, the case will eventually resurface. Kaunda in Zambia abrogated the Barotseland Agreement in 1969 thinking that it will die a natural death. It came back haunting him – so is the merger between SWAPO and CANU. 

The Germans thought the genocide of Hereros and Namas in Namibia would simply go away but it came back and is now being negotiated. So is the need to tell the Namibians the agony of truth of what happened to their beloved ones in exile and at home before it is too late. We are living in the era of human rights and the culprits may be followed, caught, and handed over to the International Criminal Court (ICC) or the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague. 

The process of reconciliation needs courageous and honest leadership. History has taught us that no amount of threats, disappearances and even killing of the opponents will silence the revolutionists. Namibia should have learnt from her own experience of being oppressed but came out triumphantly through the liberation struggle. Of course, there are Namibians who think that reconciliation will open old wounds. Nevertheless, if it is done in an honest and transparent fashion, it will eventually heal the wounds. However, if the wound is not opened and cleaned, it becomes septic and cause more harm to the body. 

The case of reconciliation should be discussed so that the young generation should know what really happened during those dark days of the liberation struggle as it is part of the Namibian history.  
It is a fact that in any war situation many people die at the battlefield, from natural causes, simply disappearing or mauled by wild animals. It becomes even more bitter when comrades kill other comrades for reasons which are not clearly and legally justified. It is here where the national leadership should have informed Namibians what transpired and with honesty exculpate themselves from the blame. 
After what Namibians went through, surely the leadership was supposed to understand the pain felt by the relatives of those who went missing in exile and at home. In addition, the spirit of reconciliation was supposed to be preached by the national leadership. Yes wrong is wrong no matter who does it, but a wrong and a wrong cannot make a right.

The ghost of the Fishrot
Because of the culture of denial, which is being sown, even the youth leadership is denying having benefited from Fishrot. One wonders who pocketed the N$60 000 if the youth organization is not accountable. Sadly, this clearly demonstrates the type of generation and leadership that will take over the reins of power when the old guard is no more.

Staff Reporter
2020-06-26 09:40:10 | 13 days ago

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