Listen to Job, KK Says

FORMER youth minister Kazenambo Kazenambo says government should engage the Affirmative Repositioning movement that has mobilised mass applications for urban land in order to avoid chaos.

The Affirmative Repositioning movement, under the leadership of suspended Swapo Party youth leaders Job Amupanda, Dimbulukweni

Nauyoma and George Kambala, wants municipalities to allocate plots mostly to the youth.

The movement has already organised people across the country to apply for land en mass to municipalities and set the end of July as the deadline for making land available or the youth will grab it. In a wide-ranging interview with The Namibian yesterday, Kazenambo, who said he has ambitions to challenge for either the Swapo presidency or vice presidency, also said the land issue needs to be addressed.

Although he said government has not failed on the land issue, Kazenambo said State policies have.

For example, he said the mass housing project is being implemented without proper consultations with the market and potential beneficiaries. Kazenambo said the government’s current approach to the demands of the Affirmative Repositioning was not helping matters. He suggested that a land conference be held to include the youth and other stakeholders to find the way forward.

“We should not wait until things boil up. The issue of Affirmative Repositioning needs a serious look. We cannot sit on the fence and observe an issue that is a potential time bomb,” he said. “There is silence, especially from the government, which should engage these people. Let us debate the issue. Democracy is not about suppression.” He also said: “I’m not saying their demands should be met, but I think peaceful dialogue should be initiated by government. I am calling on the government – the mother of all – to create a dialogue with Affirmative Repositioning.”

The former minister also said the land issue should not be about personalities and that he is concerned by the Swapo Party and the government’s stance on the youths’ demands. “Whether I support them or not, it is irrelevant but these issues need to be addressed. I’m not saying their demands should be met but a peaceful platform should be created between various stakeholder on the issues raised by the movement. Government is aware of the demands or the issues the movement is calling for,” he said.

He further said the Swapo Party leadership did not give the youth leaders a platform to explain themselves before a decision was made to suspend them after they grabbed plots last year.

“I don’t think the colleagues were given a platform to articulate their position without being subjected to other suspicions. The issue of land in this country needs a sober reflection and level headedness. We need to get to the bottom of the matter,” he said.

He suggested that the ministry of youth, the Office of Ombudsman, the National Youth Council and the ministry of urban and rural development should initiate the dialogue.

Kazenambo said President Hage Geingob can also be included in the dialogue process although it is not clear whether Geingob has changed his stance on the youths’ demands. Geingob has already warned against Amupanda’s movement, comparing their tactics to those of Nazi leader Adolf Hitler.

“Let us … be wary of the utterances of certain individuals who are skilled at using emotive issues such as land, race or tribe to arouse masses into hysteria at the expense of law and order,” Geingob told The Namibian newspaper last year.

“Remember Hitler was such an individual and he ended up causing a war that cost the lives of millions of people around the world,” he said.

Amupanda told The Namibian yesterday that he agrees with Kazenambo, describing him as one of the few fearless leaders. “As we have said before, we are ready for dialogue as long as we are not treated like small kids. We hope June will see practical dialogue before the land Christmas which could happen after July 31,” he said.

Kazenambo is the second Swapo leader to openly show sympathy with the youth movement after lands minister Utoni Nujoma’s subtle admission in March this year that he believed the government should listen to the activists.

“As far as I am concerned,” Nujoma said, “it is something that needs a sober-minded approach.”

Kazenambo said he is already looking forward to the next Swapo congress which will decide the next leadership of the ruling party.

Asked whether he will lobby for anyone or compete himself, the outspoken former minister said he has not been approached to campaign for any leader. He said for now, he is chasing Namibia dollars as a businessman but that might change in the coming years if he decides to come back into national leadership. “2017 is around the corner. I’m not ruling myself out. I am very active

in politics,” he said adding that he is active at party level.

He ruled himself out of being the secretary general of Swapo saying he does not intend to run a party.

“Rule me out of the secretary general position. I may run for president or vice president of Swapo. Those are the two I may target but it will depend on the load of my business. If I make up my mind, I will tell you. Positions in Swapo are open,” Kazenambo said.

Kazenambo said he is yet to be approached by potential candidates but said he will weigh on who to support based on his criteria. And if his criteria are not met, he might decide to compete.

Kazenambo is one of the leaders who publicly started supporting Geingob to be President but said the head of state has not informed him that he wants him to run for any position. There was a plan by some top leaders in the ruling party to instal Swapo Oshikoto regional coordinator Armas Amukwiyu as acting party vice president taking over from Geingob but Kazenambo was one of the leaders who argued against placing people in positions without following procedures.

“Swapo has procedures and rules. Organisations are governed by procedures. For me, I don’t care whether Oshikoto coordinator becomes vice president or not, as long as its done procedurally,” he said.

Source : The Namibian