The youth led movement to restore the dignity of the masses of our people as it relates to the master means of production has been in existence for more than a year since 09 November 2014, 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 youth had little chance of obtaining land in the corrupt capitalist state. The only land they were sure of getting was their graves when they die. Having occupied a central place in Namibian mainstream public discourse, having inspired and provided direction to thousands of landless people and having engaged in practical programs to deal with the land question, it was necessary that the movement reflect on the its activities and developments over the past year.
As such, the AR EVALUATION SUMMIT 2015 was therefore called to consult the landless youth (through their representatives), provide feedback, review the movement’s activities and develop new perspectives for the future. The summit was preceded by various informed critical perspectives by several columnists in various newspapers.
This one day Summit held on the 28th November 2015 at the IUM had a dedicated focus of answering the 11 Essential Questions as contained in the Summit paper titled “AR Evaluation Summit 2015: Discussion Document- The 11 Essential Questions’’. This discussion document was to be read together with other two important texts, the AR HOUSING CHARTER 31 and the AR FOREMOST PERSPECTIVES: TOWARDS KNOWLEDGE AND CONFIDENCE OF SELF. These texts were uploaded on the AR Website www.affirmativerepositioning.org for download by the delegates, AR Activists and members of public.
Without a slightest shadow of a doubt, the Summit was successful. The youth enjoyed themselves, demonstrated intellectual acumen, philosophical depth and clarity of purpose. Indeed, the organizing committee of dedicated, sharp and hardworking youth successfully delivered a youth deliberative assembly for which they only had 10 days to organize. It was attended by more than 450 delegates from all 14 regions of our country.
Each of these 450 delegates was taken care of. Each of the delegates received a complete Summit documentation package to enable him/her to follow the discussions and make informed input. The delegates did not need to leave the Summit for lunch as this was prepared already for all the 450. The presenters, documentation and research teams were on point and provided essential perspectives or verification to the delegates during the Summit. The Summit was declared successful by delegates. Indeed, the AR Evaluation Summit was a resounding success.
The Summit expressed disgust over the reports that Mr. Penda yaNdakolo, Minister of Defence, has quenched his thirst for luxury housing and comfort with public resources, having splashed N$ 1 million on the hotel. While our society is littered with many people hustling and renting, including many 17 and 18 years old students subjected to rent, the minister exaggerated his importance choosing to stay at a luxurious hotel where he was reported to eating N$ 700 per day and N$ 21 700.00 per month. Simply put, it appears like unlike the rest of us this minister has no pots, spoons and cups in Windhoek. This depressing manifestation indicates that the hyper individualistic ruling elite, with a clear exaggerated sense of self-importance, will continue undermining the masses and dwarfing its problems. Resultantly, corruption in Namibia continues unabated, on “superaweh” with no one standing up.
To put an end to perpetual and endemic corruption, the Summit resolved to address the Ya Ndakolo Tendency in practical terms. 500 letters will be written to the Director of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), Mr. Paulus Noa, asking him to investigate the Ya Ndakolo Tendency. With the knowledge of many politicians and officials convicted on similar circumstances the letters will be asking Mr. Noa to investigate the suspicion that Mr.
Ya Ndakolo received housing, water and electricity allowances while staying in a luxurious hotel at public cost. Mr. Noa will be asked to investigate the matter and present a favourable response before or on Tuesday 05 April 2016. If Mr. Noa does not investigate, the 500 youth taxpayers will enter various police stations, on 06 April 2016, countrywide open criminal charges against the minister. AR will then proceed to practical efforts of bringing before the High Court an application on the basis of Private Prosecution as provided for by the Criminal Procedure Act.
On the first question on AR ideological and organizational outlook the Summit looked at three perspectives that led to the creation of AR, beyond the greed and directionless zigzagging of the ruling elite. The first is the analysis of the thesis (colonialism), anti-thesis (political freedom/independence) and the synthesis (economic freedom). The postindependence project, over the past 25 years, was primarily concerned with the thesis and anti-thesis and not the synthesis. The second perspective was The Law of Negation of Negation outlining that all nature is constantly expanding through dying; objects tends to negate themselves in order to reproduce itself in higher quantity. What is new replaces what is old. The new object itself will also be replaced by another new object when the current new becomes old. The post-independence project has not given due regard to the The law of Negation of Negation.
To address this state of affairs and with due regards to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs in human motivation, the third perspective leads to a lucid characterization of AR from the context of Isaac Newton’s First law of Motion that states that “an object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.” From this context, the government, given inability to provide direction on the land and housing question, is regarded as an object that is resting (Sins of Incumbency) moving at a snail pace, needed to be acted upon by an AR which is a deranged force.
AR is therefore characterized as a Marxist-Fanonian leftist movement with Namibian characteristics seeking to establish an order quarantining and liquidating the capitalist anarchy characterizing the post-independence land question. Its formative standpoint is to inform and inspire the post-independence generation to concretize paths towards economic freedom. Its tactical approach is to redirect state economic development planning from Neoliberal Macroeconomic policy to humanistic development policy.
The Summit characterized the 24 July 2015 agreement with government as an Executive Social Agreement to respond to the demands of the AR Housing Charter 31. The charter itself is characterized as a conglomerate of ideas that came from young professionals from the legal fraternity, land activists and youth in general who attended the AR Legal Consultative Forum held on 4th July 2015. The agreement has literal, contextual and intentional interpretations. It has the potential of being the legacy project for the incumbent president and the biggest post-independence generational achievement for one important reasons; its potential to provide shelter to one million inhabitants if an average of 5 people per house is considered for the 200 000 plots.
On the question of AR relationship with the youth sector, the Summit revolved that whereas the AR is presently a youth led and focused movement, the characterization of youth is a mere circumstance. AR appreciates that most of the significant revolutions and revolutionary changes in the world were spearheaded by the youth. Most of the political freedom fighters were very young when they took up the struggle against colonialism.
To AR, the youthful character of the movement is, therefore, a circumstance that is not an end but a means to an end. Youth is vital to the AR movement not only for its energy and talent but because it is presently suppressed by the ruling class although being 60 percent of the population. In this epoch, youth need to be liberated. It needs rapid social and class consciousness towards consolidating its unity to devise the best behavioral psychological path to answer its own question.
For Namibia and AR, youth is fundamental in helping the country to move from the discourses of the thesis (colonialism) and the anti-thesis (political freedom and independence) to the synthesis which is generally understood in AR as economic freedom. The Summit resolved that AR should use its social capital and standing to liberate the youth (constituting 60 percent of the population) by decisively dealing with two tendencies prevalent in the youth sector as a whole - The General Zombie Tendency and the Bullshitization of Politics and Society – by converting them into active citizens (as opposed to passive citizens) and upright activists for social justice. AR is to conclude partnership and cooperation agreements with various youth organizations and movements for these purposes. It will also assist in establishing and reforming new youth organizations.
Summit agreed that AR conceptualization of ‘state power’ essentially has to do with the exercise of that power by those in whom it is invested. It terms of its objective Reality, AR concern is whether those with state power exercise it in conformity and subordination to the principles of the supreme law that establishes the Republic of Namibia as a “sovereign, secular, democratic and unitary State founded upon the principles of democracy, the rule of law and justice for all.”
The assessment is further that those with state power exercise it abiding to the Republic’s principle that “all power shall vest in the people of Namibia who shall exercise their sovereignty through the democratic institutions of the State”. In terms of Subjective Reality, AR favorably relates and seeks to direct that state power to be exercised in a manner that achieves its Marxist and Fanonian posture; an order quarantining and liquidating the capitalist anarchy and redirection of state economic development planning from Neoliberal Macroeconomic Policy to humanistic development planning.
Summit endorsed the perspective that AR views education as an important tool not only in the emancipation of the masses of our people but also in crafting a post-independence order that will take our country to economic freedom. AR embraces Paulo Freire postulation that education should essentially provide a sense of humanity to the oppressed.
In our context, education should provide a sense of humanity to our children. The education systems, inside and outside formal schooling, should prioritize and orientate the pupil to always place human beings at the center as opposed to commodities. In a final analysis the education system must support developmental state and economic freedom aspirations.
Indeed, there should be space for critical pedagogy - analyzing the intricacies of teaching and learning by looking at the impact of various actions such as learning, unlearning, relearning, reflection and evaluations on students. Summit resolved that AR engage stakeholders to popularize the view that education should essentially provide a sense of humanity to the oppressed. The children of the oppressed should be kept and made aware of both subjective and objective realities relating to education.
The Summit resolved that AR should use its social capital to provide leadership to the Namibian civil society with a view to strengthen it and position it where it supposed to be including quelling the existing power asymmetry. AR should carry out this function by engaging directly with various civil society organizations, concluding cooperation agreements, towards a common position; The Humanity Charter. Where it appears that cooperation and reform is not possible, the Summit resolved that AR should cause that alternative organizations are established.
The Summit took note of the fact that there has been numerous requests that AR moves on to address the empowerment question in other sectors of the economy that are characterized by capitalist greed, corruption and other injustices against the masses of our people. Many requests, majority of which are from the youth, point to sectors that are monopolized by the elites and not used to the benefit of our people as a whole.
The end of AR is the restoration of the dignity of our people in particular and economic freedom in general. The move of AR to these sectors is to be viewed against the subjective and objective realities of AR as outlined earlier in relations to the state and economic policy. Such an approach will be subjected to deliberative assemblies to determine the way forward. Summit agreed that AR should move into those sectors not for the sake of it but more where and when human dignity is victimized and dwarfed.
Institutions of higher learning in Namibia have placed neoliberalism at the center of educational governance as opposed to human needs and aspirations. It is for this reason that student housing remains a serious challenge. As high as 90% of most student populations at several higher learning campuses stays off-campus leaving, students to sleep in shacks and garages. Students, as young as 17 and 18 years, are forced to be head of households they rent. The Summit resolved that AR should establish AR Branches at all institutions of higher learning to fight for student housing. These AR branches, concerned with student housing, must fight to ensure that at least 50% of the campus student population be accommodated on campus. If need be, the AR branches should capture campus student governance structures to fight for these very issues including free quality tertiary education for this will as well contribute to the restoration of human dignity.
The Summit was concerned with an observation that many of the Namibians in general and the youth in particular are ignorant when it comes to governance, development and the needed direction of our country. Those aware of the thesis, anti-thesis and the synthesis have no courage and the fortitude to stand on the pedestal to give practical direction. With few exceptions, most of the media in mainstream public discourse pursue a neoliberal agenda and remain hostile to radical and revolutionary change.
The Summit resolved that AR should vigorously and continuously participate in public discourse to confront the neoliberal narrative and provide the Marxist and Fanonian leftist perspective so as to provide education and orientation to the masses of our people. The Summit resolved that AR must be present at all platforms of public discourse, presenting the supreme logic and transforming youth by opening their eyes with revolutionary truth and direction.
Whereas it appears that existing places of public discourse appears to be taking gatekeeping postures, AR must seek to establish alternative platforms, including alternative media, to be taken seriously in mainstream national discourse. The Summit also resolved that a platform be immediately created on the AR website where youth and activist opinions can be published periodically.
Namibia is indeed part of the international community. AR principles, such as placing human beings at the center of development policy and restoring the dignity of the oppressed, are principles that resonate with millions of people outside Namibia. Networks and engagement with the outside world will not only enrich the perspective of AR but will also strengthen the resolves of AR in its fight for social justice. AR will seek cooperation with movements with similar objectives in countries that are friendly with the developing world.
AR will also seek to influence Namibia’s foreign policy with these very principles. The Summit endorsed AR International to be established in all countries where there are Namibians either living or studying. AR volunteers in these countries will be made Ambassadors of AR to spread the message of the restoration of the dignity of the masses of our people as it relates to the master means of production; land, and housing. They will be responsible for networking, fundraising and representing AR in those countries as may be required.
AR must establish a division of AR Investigations where the land and housing related matters can be reported to AR, investigated and subsequently handed over to related state institutions. To this effect, a reporting and inquiry function should be established on the AR website to enable the issues to be raised.
AR and its Activists must present convincing arguments and supreme logic, supported by facts and drawing from historical narratives, to all members of society (including detractors) so to place the AR position and agenda on the table. This requires research, being current and a reading culture.
AR and its activists must constantly participate in public discourse, proposing various ideas on matters of individual and collective concerns and also provide new information which members of society may not be aware of. AR Activists must always be inquisitive and have an urge to discover new things to communicate to the masses of our people. As such, they must be current and follow the events in both Namibia and globally. Once they obtain the information and the news, they must digest, interpret and form opinions with which the information is presented to the masses.
AR activists must serve as enablers; creating an environment and opportunities for things to happen. Society must be waiting and looking forward to the direction which AR activists are providing. AR activists must provide platforms for the masses to assemble and discuss masses affecting them with a view to find solutions.
The politicians, exercising executive, administrative and legislative powers, have presented themselves as sources of pain and suffering of the masses of our people as it relates to land and housing. AR activists must constantly and vigorously monitor the activities of the politicians nationally and in their communities. If they discover anything sinister, it is their duty to expose such events. Such exposure must be referred, with the same level of vigor and close following, to statutory institutions and other constitutionally created institutions created for the purposes of watching those who exercise statutory and executive powers.
ISSUED BY THE AR MOVEMENT