AR response to Swapo engagement proposal
The youth movement that aims to restore the dignity of the landless people, Affirmative Repositioning (AR), has received a letter from the Chairperson of the SWAPO Party Politburo Committee, Hon. Pendukeni Ivula-Ithana with the intention to meet those at the forefront of AR. The Committee consists of Hon. Pendukeni Ivula-Ithana (chairperson), Minister of Justice Hon. Albert Kawana, Minister of Land Reform Hon. Utoni Nujoma, Minister of Urban and Rural Development Hon. Sophia Shaningwa and Attorney-General Sakeus Shanghala.
Dialogue as part of the Cooperative Period
This development is not surprising for we have already declared, in our second text titled “Affirmative Repositioning – The Two Options” the period between 21 November 2015 and 31 July 2015 as the Cooperative Period where we will be engaging with all interested parties. The same text characterised the period after31 July as the Antagonistic epoch where all efforts the Cooperative period. We have held dialogues and engagements, over the past 9 months, on housing and our position with several individuals and institutions in the housing sector. These are amongst others officials of the Tsumeb Municipality, the newly elected Swakopmund constituency councillor, assigning Comrade Charles Siyauya to assist us and lead the dialogue in Katima Mulilo, obtaining a determination from the Development Bank of Namibia (DBN) to fund local authorities just to mention a few. Our coordinators in the regions and towns have been hosting meetings with the municipalities although with little success. Resultant of our dialogues several municipalities such as Windhoek, Swakopmund, Lüderitz, Tsumeb, Eenhana, Oranjemund and others have issued acknowledgement letters to our applicants. Just yesterday, 08 July 2015, Oshikuku Town Council invited our youth to go collect their responses, Katima Mulilo Town Council announced its decision to allocate 1 000 plots to applicants, Walvis Bay indicated to us how far they are while Lüderitz called our representative for dialogue.
Government plagiarism of AR Legal Consultative Forum Resolutions
We held a successful AR Legal Consultative Forum on the 4th of July 2014 where about 300 young professionals, particularly the lawyers, legal advisors, company secretaries, legal practitioners, legal scholars and legal activists met to discuss the various thematic areas which include Rent and Housing Control Board, Housing Finance, Land Tenure System, Evictions and Land Occupation. The establishment, from State House, State Security Apparatus sent their representatives to observe and record the Youth Parliament and its resolutions. Even those who have apportioned to themselves state power had sent their representatives to sit silently and record our process. After the meeting, the elites were making copies of all our discussion documents, which are still in a draft form, for distribution amongst their circles. Although we are still busy with the final documentations on the outcomes, our documents are already serving at high tables. It is, therefore, not surprising that government plagiarised our resolutions as outlined in our documents they have in their possession.
We do not have a problem with government plagiarism. We are in fact happy and welcome government decision to endorse our resolutions although in their draft form. We are not and never looked for glory but solutions. Where the ideas come from and which group and under what name our youth get land should not matter. We congratulate government to this effect. We love this country but hate the injustices. It is the injustice we are fighting; again, we congratulate government for taking the first step towards addressing the land crisis.
We however wish to remind government that we did not propose the Rent and Housing Price control board to promote renting, on the centrality. We want land to build our houses and not to continue renting just because there is some ‘regulation.’ This proposal is a by the way issue whose bigger picture is to have the property market regulated.
We notice that although there are serious burning issues, the parliamentarians have decided to go on a two month holiday while leaving a lot of issues that need to be resolved. This indicates that the institution that is parliament is not taking there matters seriously.
On the SWAPO Political Bureau Committee
We find it rather unfortunate that the ruling party, having had 8 months of meaningful engagement, chose to only engage AR in the 9th month, few weeks before we occupy the land. As the saying goes, it is better late than never. In any case we had earlier indicated that the period between 21 November 2015 and 31 July 2015 will be a cooperative period wherein we will dialogue with all interested parties. It is on this basis that we do not have a principal problem with engaging with the SWAPO Political Bureau Committee. We will go and dialogue with the committee. We, however, have several methodical and procedural issues with the postural and positioning of the committee in its attempt to dialogue with us. We have resolved to attend the first meeting and raise these methodical and procedural anomalies and predicaments at the beginning of the meeting before any discussion or our input takes place.
Our program of action remains as is. The 31 July 2015 remain the due date and we encourage our youth to continue submitting their leave or make sure they get sick before the due date so that they are booked off. Our youth must continue buying their materials such as fencing wire, poles etc. to demarcate their plots. The preparations are underway to host the AR Technical Summit next week where engineers, quantity surveyors, land surveyors, town planners, architects and many other technical professionals will meet to enrich and consolidate the technical aspect of the AR program. We have informed our coordinators in towns to start organizing youth meetings to start identifying land that will be occupied, inform them of the resolutions of the AR Legal Consultative Forum (including the N$ 100 000.00 availed for the landless), the upcoming AR Technical Summit and our attempts to dialogue with the ruling party. They must remain on standby because we may call them to convene urgently to discuss the aspects of dialogue and send them to the center for tabling in the negotiations.