‘People united for a common goal will always emerge victorious’

Remember, truth never hides

By Nkrumah Mushelenga

2. ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT
Members and cadres of the party are constitutionally obliged to;
promote full and active participation of all the Namibian people, especially the colonially disadvantaged black majority, in the process of economic reconstruction and development through the encouragement of initiative and creativity in economic activities such as small scale industries, cooperatives and joint ventures, as well as, job creation in the informal sectors of the economy;
work for full social justice in the distribution of resources, wealth, promotion of efficiency and proper management of the human and natural resources;
encourage communities and individuals to strive for a decent quality of life through the acquisition of new skills and the introduction of new techniques of production;
work for the acceleration of economic growth;
ensure that the policy directive on affirmative action is effectively implemented to uplift the victims of apartheid colonialism;
urge the government to work out the best mechanism of effecting land reform;
work towards the achievement of economic democracy, and greater prosperity for all;
promote a monetary and financial policy geared towards the promotion of full employment, a high rate of economic growth and stable currency; and
promote the integration of the informal with the formal sector of the economy.

3. SOCIAL EMPOWERMENT
• Promote family life as the core of human society where the youth are taught to understand the world around them, the norms and moral values of the community in which they live;
help combat the anti-social practices of crime, alcoholism, drug abuse, prostitution, etc;
work for progressive labour relations and improvement of the living and working conditions of the workers;
defend the democratic rights of the workers to organise themselves for the articulation of their own interests and to collectively withdraw their labour when confronted with unjust practices by employers;
advance the struggle for equal rights of the workers;
advance the struggle for equal rights of women, not only in terms of legal status but also in education, employment and culture by guaranteeing increase of women’s share of responsible positions in the state and civil society;
encourage local authorities and enterprises to create facilities for the care of children of working mothers and, thus, to ensure that women take full part in the production process as well as in the acquisition of knowledge and skills;
help inculcating in Namibians the ethics of hard work, labour discipline and conscientiousness as to the management and care of resources, tools and equipment; and
press for the immediate rationalisation of welfare schemes.

4. EDUCATION EMPOWERMENT
Fight for the right of youths to education, recreation, work, and to promote their benefit in the development of a modern education system based on sciences, technology and arts;
join the government and other agencies in combatting the colonial heritage of illiteracy;
call for the redirection of educational resources in accordance with affirmative action to historically disadvantaged schools, resources in terms of the creation of continuous in-service training programmes for teachers, workshops on production and acquisition of educational materials;
identify all underutilised school facilities throughout the country with a view to putting them to full use; and
encourage initiative and creativity among Namibian artists and other persons active in the cultural field so that they can strive hard to depict in a society committed and artistically convincing manner the joys and sorrows, problems and hopes of Namibians.

5. HEALTH EMPOWERMENT
Press for the speeding up of the process of the integration of the health system, so as to make it more efficient in catering to all Namibians;
Strive for the establishment of clinics and health centres in rural and urban areas where these essential services do not exist;
Press for the training of more health workers; and
Work for community based programmes designed to increase community participation.

6. HOUSING EMPOERMENT
Work towards the provision of adequate decent and affordable housing for all;
Demand for the formulation of systematic plans for the erection of law-income house units which will eventually do away with squatting;
Encourage the production of local building materials as a way of making housing more affordable;
Campaign for the establishment of mechanism for creation of housing financial schemes open to the low-income sections of the Namibian society; and strive for the provision of clean drinking water and electricity in rural areas.

7. ENVIRONMENT EMPOWERMENT
Informed by Chapter 11 Article 95 (L) of the Constitution of Namibia, the party members are required to;
Acquaint ourselves and realise that our natural environment is the common heritage of all Namibians, the present and the future generations;
realise that our beautiful fauna and flora, are a source of sustenance and attraction to mankind; and
promote the protection, conservation and respect for our environment as a priority concern for all.

8. GENDER AWARENESS EMPOWERMENT
Vigorously promote the understanding that historical gender roles and statuses have been stratified in the disadvantage of the women folk;
cultivate a conscious effort for gender awareness in development planning, social services and all spheres of national life; and
design specific strategy to facilitate the speedy elimination of traditional practices which deny women matrimonial inheritance and other constitutional rights.
History has it that the founding fathers and mothers of Swapo as a liberation movement, and as a political party, laid a futuristic national inclusive fundamental Political Programme and Guideline for Action, as a compass and mirror to monitor and evaluate party performances.

Where did we go wrong?
First, we should emphasise on;
Individual rights and less emphasis on individual accountability.
Individual land rights as opposed to national land liability.
Legalisation of land as a trading commodity by introducing the willing seller willing buyer system.
•Political party membership has become a trading commodity as opposed to voluntarism.
Political conflict of interest practiced countrywide through the concept of ‘scratch my back, I scratch yours’.
Clustering of veterans into ‘lesser’ and ‘more important’ is tantamount to apartheid divide and rule system.
Take note that the battle for economic deliverance demands unity of purpose. We need to be united than ever before. Currently, underdevelopment, poverty, illiteracy and disease are the most common enemies of the Namibian people.

Key party obligations;
Inform,
Educate and,
Entertain.
The reality is that; we cannot inform others if we ourselves are not well informed about the Party Political Programme Guidelines for Action.
With regards to entertainment, we can only create a faithful entertaining message, if we ourselves understand the values of the Party Political Programme Guidelines for Action.

Where do we go from here?
Pointing fingers or counter accusations will not be solutions to the current struggle for economic emancipation, partly because we do not abide by the party objectives neither do we respect the rules and procedures, and indeed the Party Political Programme Guidelines for Action.
The reality is that there is only one common enemy of the Namibian people, and that enemy is ‘poverty’. The national question should be, how do we together as Namibians eliminate the identified gaps?
According to Dr John Tibane, “Gaps unrecognised cannot be evaluated, and gaps unevaluated cannot be eliminated”. Chapter 1 Article iii b (1) (2) (3)(5) (9) and (10), are crucial indicators of how best we can unite, defend, foster, instill, fight poverty and promote accelerated national economic development throughout the country.

Guidelines for action to eliminate identified gaps:
Legislators to harmonise or equalise rights and accountabilities.
Legislators to amend Article 16 to either include land, instead of property only, and to read “land resettlement”.
Legislators to modify the current willing buyer system to enabling the government to acquire land to resettle the landless veteran communities. We have somehow degraded and diluted the purpose and ideals for which many sons and daughters sacrificed to liberate our country. The general question is, how a population of 2.495 million (2019) living in an area of 824,292 km2, yet the majority of that population is landless? We are urgently requesting the legislators (lawmakers) to speedily formulate a policy framework inclusive of a timeline, designed to specifically and timely address the land resettlement programme.
Political parties should introduce other financial generating alternatives.
All party leadership should include in their constitutions or, codes of conduct a legal binding conflict of interest provision.
Efficiency and effectiveness of implementation of the Party Political Programme will ensure that Swapo will be able to fulfil its present and future tasks as a vital agent of development and a guarantor of democracy in the Land of the Brave.

* Nkrumah Mushelenga, Rt. Commissioner for Refugees, and Founder and Chairperson of P.N.P.C.V.T.