AFFIRMATIVE REPOSITIONING (AR) STATEMENT ON THE AR EVALUATION SUMMIT 2015 TO BE HELD ON 28 NOVEMBER 2015 AT THE INTERNATIONAL UNIVERSITY OF MANAGEMENT
19 November 2015
The Context and Background
It has now been more than 365 days since 09 November 2015, the day in which we gave a middle finger to the then prevailing situation of corruption, greed, elitism, zigzagging and indifference of the ruling elite regarding the land question. At the time, the elites were giving land only to themselves, their concubines, family members and friends while the masses of our people remained in long lists since 1990 waiting for angels to give them land to build their homes. The young people, constituting 60% of the population were not taken seriously and had little chances of obtaining land in the corrupt capitalist state. At the time, the only land they were sure of getting was their graves.
The situation became so unbearable and untenable given that there was no one giving direction and attempting to answer the Vladimir Lenin question of “What is To Be Done”. Everyone was complaining without giving practical direction for redress. The President of the country at the time, Mr. Hifikepunye Pohamba, flew out of the country and complained to an international television channel Aljazeera about the land question without giving any practical direction. When the president when overseas to complain, he left more than 400 000 Namibians that live in informal settlement and more than 100 000 people in long lists waiting for pieces of land since 1990. His daughter (together with other connected kids) scooped housing tenders worth millions, in a project he initiated, despite being inexperienced. He left the price of houses in Cape Town 30% cheaper than houses in Windhoek. The world he was complaining to already knew that house prices in Namibia are the second highest expensive in the world after Dubai. Such state of affairs, directionless and zigzagging forced us to go occupy land in Klein Kuppe and subsequently lead thousands of landless youth.
On 21 November 2014, we led thousands of landless youth and people and occupied Independence Avenue of the capital city as we submitted more than 14 000 land applications to the City of Windhoek. On 27 February 2015, we took the people’s emancipating program to all the 50 local authorities resulting in the submission of more than 50 000 land applications countrywide, a figure which could have been more had it not been for the propaganda machinery of the ruling party, the government and moneyed friends and relatives of the ruling elite.
All the 50 000 applications had one message to the ruling elite; give us land before or on 31 July 2015 or else we will occupy it ourselves and throw sand in your food.
Where they thought we were joking, we showed them how serious we were. The ruling elite unleashed the police on us without realizing that no amount of threat was to suppress our movement. They then mobilised the entire security sector, including the state intelligence and clear request for reinforcement from the Namibia Defence Force. We remained focused and unmoved. Indeed, we said to the ruling elite; land or death. We faced every obstacle they sent to us until the contacts with the new President, Dr. Hage Geingob, culminated into negotiations and the 24 July 2015 agreement at State House popularly characterized for the commitment to service 200 000 plots countrywide. It is that program we have been engaged and busy with for the past 3 months.
AR Evaluation Summit 2015
The history of post-independence activism has been characterised not only by directionless and zigzagging but by mainly co-option of leaders into the power circles immediately after making contact with power. Resultantly, the co-opted leaders become nothing but sell-outs who have prioritised their stomach over the interest of the masses. It is for this reason that many socioeconomic problems remain unsolved given this power asymmetry. AR, its leaders and Activists cannot allow the movement to be co-opted. Where the impression is created, AR leaders and activists must ascend to the pedestal and reject such notions. More importantly, the movement must remain with the masses of the people, constantly consulting, providing feedback and reviewing and developing new perspectives. The movement cannot slack or zigzag.
The AR EVALUATION SUMMIT 2015 is therefore called to consult the landless people, provide feedback, review the movement activities and develop new perspectives. This one day summit, to be held on 28 November 2015 at the International University of Management, will ask the following 11 ESSENTIAL QUESTIONS;
QUESTION 1: What is AR Ideological and Organizational outlook? QUESTION 2: What is AR conceptualization and relationship with State Power? QUESTION 3: What is the character & interpretation of 24 July 2015 agreement? QUESTION 4: What is the AR relationship with the Youth sector? QUESTION 5: What is AR perspective on Education and Critical Pedagogy? QUESTION 6: What is AR relationship with the Namibian Civil Society? QUESTION 7: What is AR approach to other socioeconomic sectors? QUESTION 8: What is AR relationship with the international community? QUESTION 9: What is the AR perspective and relationship with higher education? QUESTION 10: What is AR perspective and relationship with public discourse? QUESTION 11: What are the AR Future strategies and Tactics?
These questions will serve as themes to guide discussions against which answers will be developed. A discussion document has been developed, due for public release on Tuesday 24 November 2015, which will attempt to provide the basis for engagement.
The Summit will be attended by AR Activists and coordinators from all 121 constituencies, 50 local authorities and the 14 regions. It will also be attended by civil society organisations, scholars and youth organizations, interested parties and the ordinary landless people of our country. We expect attendance of between 300 and 350 people. Practical details regarding registration will be released early next week.
At the summit, a pamphlet AR KEY FOREMOST PERSPECTIVES will be available for collection. The same document and the AR HOUSING CHARTER 31 will also be available on the AR website that will be launched at the Summit.
CALL TO ACTION
A clarion call is therefore made to AR Activists, scholars and thinkers to stand up and be counted amongst those fearless youth who will be using their minds to answer the 11 ESSENTIAL QUESTIONS and draw the future of our movement and our country. A clarion call is made to AR youth to begin discussing the summit in their regions, towns and homes and mobilise society to understand the ideas behind the summit and the key questions we will seek to answer at the summit. Indeed, the clarion call is made to AR youth to mobilise for the attendance of the summit to take place on the 28th November 2015.
A clarion call is made to AR entrepreneurs to make contact with Activist D.S.H Nauyoma (firstname.lastname@example.org) if they are interested in sponsoring and supporting certain portions of the summit particularly the printing the documents and food
ISSUED BY THE AR MOVEMENT