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Opinion: Job Amupanda and the red line

2021-07-27  Staff Reporter

Opinion: Job Amupanda and the red line

Alvenus Dreyer


For us starters, the point Job Amupanda is trying to make regarding the removal of the red line is based on exactly what? 

When did Amupanda saw it fit to take the government to court, was it after his meat was confiscated at the checkpoint? The issue, concerning the red line is a national but also a dimensional one with interest to many stakeholders, especially the livestock breeding previously disadvantaged communities in Namibia. 

The majority of the latter mentioned agricultural contributors for decades whether pre-or post-independence have been sustaining their livelihoods all thanks to the controlling mechanisms in place because of the red line. 

One thing we really must point out is that irrespective of the red line established on colonial ideologies, the line continues to serve its economic purpose. Again, irrespective of the red line being there or not, the movement of people, goods and services was and is never restricted, especially in an independent Namibia. 

However, when it comes to the sensitive issue of safeguarding the meat industry, politics should probably not interfere too much. 

As shared recently via the print media by the Legal Assistance Centre (LAC) in its ProBono contribution (The Namibian Newspaper), a significant level of commitment, coordination and investment in both capital and human resources is required to realise better opportunities for everyone in Namibia’s agricultural sector. 

Furthermore, initiatives such as the Commodity Based Trade (CBT) Protocols are ideal solutions to assist cattle farmers north of the red line, while stakeholders including the government continue addressing the issue of the red line. 

The red line issue is not an issue to be sorted by a court, thus it is important that the Namibian government makes a strong case when requesting to have Amupanda’s case suspended. 

The know it all, have and do it all approach taken by some leading figures, especially politicians cannot go unabated if we have to consider our role in democracy.

2021-07-27  Staff Reporter

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