When dialogue becomes a necessity
Last week there was an open engagement between the traditional leaders and the Vice President in bid to salvage space for dialogue amid threats that the growing land grabbing calls could go out of hand and change the existing status quo.
The agreement was that there is a need for engagement with all parties involved in the land agitations. The engagement with the traditional leaders was also consolidated by the statement released by the President’s Office reaffirming the need to take a holistic approach to the distribution of land.
In hais statement the President confirms his willingness and the state’s willingness to find a favourable solution to the non-availability of land to the ordinary Namibian.
However the President’s Office emphasises the need to respect the law and property rights in the quest to make sure that every Namibian who does not afford land and accommodation is taken care of.
What strikes the most from last week’s events is that both the state and the agitators of land distribution have a concurrence that there is a need to redress the land issue and also rein in on runaway rents that have become characteristic of Windhoek.
There is no need to emphasise that there is need for dialogue to be made the core of engagement going forward in way that caters for the needs of both those agitating for land and also gives a guarantee to sanity to prevailing.
While one would not want to be stuck in a scenario where finger pointing is the order of the day reality is that calls for land in any African country are pertinent and need to be addressed in a manner favourable to all.
There is that obvious notion that most youth who work for either the civil service or private sector have to part with an awful N$7000 to N$10 000 in rent every month. This is somewhat unbearable in a long time. Perhaps there is also that vast generational gap between the problems that confront the youth of today and the youth of the 80s.
The youth of today are pretty much overtaken by the idea of economic emancipation while the youth of the 80s and beyond were consumed with liberation of the country.
However a close look shows you that there might be differences in the struggles faced today and then but whatever the differences are a table can sort these between the different generations. It does not necessarily mean because there is generational gap on what the young people of today are looking for and what the young people of then were looking for consensus cannot be reached through engagement.
There is actually even more need for constant engagement between the parties to find an amicable solution because generational differences do not mean people will not concur on issues of bread and butter.
The fact that there is some level of engagement between government and the land agitators is a good sign going forward and dialogue is the only way to solve the challenges we face today. Even the great master of war Napoleon Bonaparte at some point saw the significance of sitting on the same table with his foes to find solutions.
This is exactly the same modus oparandi that government and land agitators need to use to resolve an otherwise explosive situation if ignored.