What Is Bubbling Beneath Windhoek?

THERE is a destructive force of selfishness within the political echelons of the City of Windhoek. Reports this week about how prime land has been changing hands among the city’s elite and those armed with political connections are, for lack of a better word, shocking!

The public reacted angrily to these reports and it doesn’t take a brain surgeon to notice why. Thanks to the alleged manipulations of systems and regular protocol, the public is currently engulfed in anger, with some threatening to – at the very least – boycott this month’s elections.

Land remains a hugely sensitive matter in Namibia and when those entrusted with administrating its distribution show signs of cronyism and utter insensitivity, the consequences could be far-reaching.

The Namibian government’s position on land is very clear and the determination to reverse injustices of our colonial past is there for all to see. President Hifikepunye Pohamba is on record as stating, in an interview with television network Al Jazeera two years ago, that if recklessly handled the land situation may lead to a revolution by the landless.

President Pohamba was visionary is his analysis and frank in his determination that the time for equitable distribution of land is now.

It is however disappointing, if not disrespectful, that the president’s position on land and particularly his clarion call for equitable access to this critical means of production are being violated with impunity.

Sadly, those at the helm of these violations are not being held accountable despite the voluminous chunk of public trust they continue to take away from the government they are supposed to represent with honour and trust.

When one thinks of the previous era’s pass laws, discriminating Acts and violent riots, there is no denying that Namibia is today a better place for black people to live in.

But we are gradually moving in a direction where black public officials are, in a poorly disguised manner, repeating the theatrics of this country’s discriminatory past.

The volumes of discontent observed on social networks and the media this week in reaction to the way the mayor of Windhoek, Agnes Kafula, has been handling the City’s disposal of land to those with whom she enjoys close links are worrying.

If such views represent the moderate discontents among Namibia’s black majority, we have to wonder what is bubbling beneath the surface. The young people in particular are not happy with the amount of attention being paid to their evident need for land.

The young people’s anxiety over land is flagrantly obvious to even the least capable of thinkers. But now the nation is bombarded with stories of land being put on public auction against a standing Cabinet directive, or being given away for a song to individuals connected to those in power.

Thanks to these shenanigans, the working class is gradually losing hope of ever owning land in their country of birth and are worried by the difficult prospects of raising a family in a rented flat. Most of these flats are owned by the very people who are starving others of land.

Few will deny that there is urgent need to rein in the principals at the City of Windhoek, especially the political heads. It is shocking that the City receives offers to purchase land and someone decides the land should rather be donated free of charge. Such decisions are clearly not in favour of the masses who vote councillors into power – meaning this is actually betrayal of the voters.

The nation’s emotional reaction to the City’s decisions is vividly on display and government should act swiftly to assure the worried masses that all will be well and that their dreams of acquiring land are not far-fetched.

Source : New Era