• September 21st, 2020

Shot for wanting a share of the national cake

IT would be preposterous and presumptuous to condemn the Namibian Police for the fatal shooting of Frida Ndatipo, one of many children of Namibian freedom fighters who have been agitating for a share of the Namibian cake. The children have not been doing anything else but clamouring for such a share like many other Namibians who have since independence been in their own special way pushing, shuffling and jostling for a share of the national economic pie.

While some have since independence been finding this economic struggle plain sailing, siphoning off the country’s natural resources and abrogating such for own self-gradisement, and through devious means, like dubious investment schemes, with funds like the GIPF’s serving as a gravy source to a selected few in this regard, and with many having done so with impunity, yet for others the sailing has not been that smooth. 

These include the children of former liberation fighters often referred to as “struggle kids.” 

The plight of these Namibians have been known as loud as they have made their voice more often than not heard about their needs and wants, especially to have a place under the Namibian economic sun. 

They have actually not been doing this by expecting handouts from the government. On the contrary they have been insisting the government  provide them with jobs so that they fend themselves not as matter of welfare cases but as able-bodied citizens earning a  living from a good day’s work. 

Yes, some may have been provided for in terms of jobs. 

But still there are those who still do not seem to have been lucky in this regard. And hence whether we want it or not, their plight has been continuing into the unfortunate incident of late where Ndatipo lost her life. 

There has often been the argument from certain quarters that these members of the Namibian society are not the only ones who need the attention of the government or can or should demand special attention from the government. 

Yes, the Namibian government must provide for, and if it cannot provide for, create the necessary conditions in which all its citizenry can economically thrive independently. As much the government cannot ignore the facts among it citizens that there are those who may be in need of special attention. In fact, already we have many special social cases that the government is dealing with and for whom it is providing, at the expense of those who can fend for themselves. 

So who and what the government can and should provide for is a matter of its policy disposition, and wherewithal for that matter, and thus priority, other than lack of resources as some apologetics may want to make the citizenry believe. 

Similarly, the children of former liberation fighters are and shall be until their plight is properly addressed the responsibility of the State, as much as any other citizen or class and group of citizens. 

Only if the government shows the necessary political courage and will, as well as the requisite wisdom in the application of the State’s resources so that the most deserving do not only get due attention but are also prioritised in terms of their needs and wants, some of whose may be dire as the case may be with the needs and wants of the children of the former liberation fighters. 

One would not wish to believe that it has been outside the means of the government due to budgetary constraints to attend to the plight of these nascent of the liberation struggle as much as one would say it has not been outside the means of the government to attend to the wants and needs of other citizens, of course based on the urgency and priority of the respective needs and wants. This is if one has to look at the various government spending priorities. 

This has not been speaking so much for lack of resources as for twisted priorities. The mass of the Namibian masses somehow continue to wallow and drown in poverty and squalor not so much because the country is poorly endowed but very much so because it either has not the ability to use its endowments to the benefit of all, wilfully and otherwise, or simply because those entrusted with the management of such endowments do not have the interests of its citizens at heart other than their own. 

Or may only have interests of their own parochial groupings. 

Whatever the case may be, that what is essentially a socio-economic matter has to deteriorate into a national crisis where people start to lose their lives at the hands of those who are supposed to protect them and the rights of the citizenry to protect their socio-economic rights, is alarming in a democratic country that Namibians have been aspiring towards.  

But that sooner or later ordinary citizens going about exerting their civil rights, be it political, social  or economic, may clash with the authorities that be, especially the law enforcing agencies – the lights thereof somehow have been flickering many a time during such civil demonstrations as peaceful as many have been. 

While the Namibian  Constitution guarantees every citizen the right to agitate for his/her rights through peaceful assembly or any other peaceful means, the law enforcement agencies’ interpretations have been anything but suspect, if not all together erroneous. 

A case in point – Article 21 of the Constitution provides for fundamental freedoms which include the right to “assemble peacefully” as well as “freedom of association”.

There is also the “freedom of speech and expression”.

Having observed the limitations that authorities seem to attach to such rights and freedoms one cannot but wonder how real such freedoms and rights are in practice. The children of the former liberation fighters were assembling, associating and expressing themselves as provided for in the Constitution. Only to be met with the unfortunate fate that one of them met, death. 

The circumstances which led to her death are as yet sketchy but surely it all partially points to a lack of understanding and/or misunderstanding by the law enforcing agencies of some of these constitutional rights and freedoms.  

Like in the case of demonstrations, does anyone actually need permission from the authority to demonstrate or protest, or just to inform the authorities for them to facilitate his/her civil act? 

Your guess as to how the authorities may see and interpret such is as good as mine. 

New Era Reporter
2014-08-29 10:06:07 | 6 years ago

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