Namibians Engage in Economic Battle

Namibians should not take freedom and independence for granted and should fight for economic emancipation.

This was the view of Walvis Bay Urban Constituency Councillor Hafeni Ndemula at the 20th anniversary celebrations of the reintegration of Walvis Bay to Namibia held on Saturday at the Kuisebmond Stadium at Walvis Bay.

Ndemula said Namibians constantly need to remind themselves that “we all owe it to our liberation heroes and heroines that fought hard for the country’s independence and freedom and therefore we should now fight for the country’s economic freedom as well.”

He said change would not come on its own just like freedom and independence did not come on its own and therefore Namibians have to embrace one another in the spirit of unity for the purpose of their economic emancipation.

“We wasted a lot of time when Africa went through hardships of colonialism and apartheid, which made it very difficult for Africans to develop themselves. After many African countries gained independence from their oppressors it became imperative that economic freedom and service delivery are the main responsibilities of their governments. This challenge not only exists in Namibia,” he said.

“Studies have shown there is a g link between some countries’ independence and economic freedom, which is needed to improve the living standards of ordinary Africans as well as improve service delivery,” Ndemula explained.

It was against this background that the government led by Swapo through its manifestos detected the need for economic freedom as a way of sustainable development of the country and made it a top priority towards the attainment of Vision 2030, he stressed.

“Therefore today’s celebrations are a way of making ourselves aware that we need to continue fighting for our own change on a daily basis. We should not take freedom and independence for granted as it was a very hard and long struggle – this we need to embrace and guard jealously,” he said.

Walvis Bay was returned to Namibia in 1994 by the former apartheid regime of South Africa.

When South African forces defeated the Germans in 1915, Walvis Bay was under martial law as part of South Africa. Following the Treaty of Versailles in 1919, the League of Nations assigned South Africa mandatory powers over South West Africa.

In 1922 the area was placed under the administration of the South West African Administration.

This remained the status quo for more than 50 years. On August 31 1977, the territory’s administration was once again transferred to the Cape Province in an apparent attempt to avoid losing Walvis Bay to a Swapo government.

The South African government re-imposed direct rule and reasserted its claim to sovereignty.

However, this was condemned by the United Nations and its Resolution 435 of July 1978 called for the reintegration of Walvis Bay into Namibia.

Even when Namibia became independent on March 21 1990, South Africa refused to cede control over the area. Only after increased international and local pressure, Walvis Bay and a string of off-shore islands were finally reintegrated into Namibia at midnight on February 28 1994.

Source : New Era