Subasubani Determined To Inspire More Youth Leadership

14 Dec 2015 12:50pm
By Anna Salkeus

WINDHOEK, 14 DEC (NAMPA) – New City of Windhoek (CoW) councillor Ian Subasubani says his performance over the next five years will determine whether the youth is ready for leadership positions.
Subasubani became the youngest councillor for the CoW at the age of 25 when he was sworn-in as one of 15 councillors on the city’s leadership structures on 04 December 2015.
Citing the low voter turnout during the recent elections, Subasubani hopes his new role in society will motivate more youth to participate in the next elections.
“People remind me that I am the youngest councillor in Windhoek and yes, I am excited about it, but I have to remind myself that I am not going there to be treated like a baby; I need to work.
“How I perform as a councillor will be a reflection of how the majority of young people will perceive their readiness for leadership in this generation. If I mess up, I think our generation will be asked to take a backseat and say they are not ready to lead a city or nation.”
Subasubani’s journey in politics started when his father, Frederick Situnda, who is the ruling party’s branch coordinator for the Kalibeza Constituency in the Zambezi Region, signed him up as a Swapo member in March 2008.
His interest in politics grew when he attended an information-sharing session with SPYL Secretary for Information, Publicity and Mobilisation Neville Andre Itope in May 2010.
He recalls standing in the shade not far from the Agribank at Post Street Mall in the central business district (CBD) disseminating information about the party, recruiting new members and issuing membership cards.
“It was really nice and ever since I have been very active. I became the district secretary for the youth league, a position I still hold today,” he said.
After completing his secondary education at the Caprivi Senior Secondary School in 2009, he moved to Windhoek to further his studies.
Subasubani, however, did not attain the minimum entry of 25 points for tertiary enrolment.
This did not discourage him and he registered at The University Centre for Studies in Namibia (Tucsin) and upgraded two subjects - Physical Science and Mathematics.
In 2011, he registered for a Bachelors of Mechanical Engineering, which he is still currently pursuing at the Namibian University of Science and Technology (Nust).
He also holds a certificate in business and marketing management from the Southern Business School.
“People used to say that I am confused and that I was risking too much with politics. But I always believe that every dream has a believer and I never doubted myself.
“When I see something wrong or something that is not working as it should be, I always want to do something about it.”
One of the pertinent issues he will look at as councillor is the ongoing issue of land, its allocation and service.
“The Minister of Urban and Rural Development, Sophia Shaningwa took a firm stand against dishing out land to well-connected individuals. As a council, we need to be fair in land distribution.”
He said the land distribution issue has already received a lot of attention, including from President Hage Geingob after the Affirmative Repositioning (AR) movement highlighted the need, thus he will not come up with new solutions but would instead work with the already existing system.
Subasubani said future land applications should receive efficient correspondence, and thus human labour should be looked into and increased to create timely responses to applicants, save time and resources, as well as save the City’s image and public frustration from delayed responses.
“The City of Windhoek also needs to play a leading role in sustainable employment creation. Currently, everyone feels that it is Government’s social responsibility to create employment for everyone.
“However, it is the social responsibility of everyone, including the private sector, our own entrepreneurs and those who were previously disadvantaged.”
On security in the capital, he said that the City Police is essential as it complements the Namibian Police Force (NamPol). “But central government needs to assist the City Police operations in order for the CoW to instead divert funding from the City Police to formalising informal settlements.”
Subasubani said extensive consultation is needed with central government and the Ministry of Finance to see what modalities can be created to receive funding for the City Police, although it may not be 100 per cent of what is needed.
On infrastructure, he said he does not see the need for revamping most of the urban roads in the capital.
“Yes, the city is the face of Namibia and most of our roads are in good condition. Why are we removing and replacing the top layer of a tar road instead of putting up new roads in the informal settlements?”
Five years may seem like a short time, but Subasubani seems determined to dedicate all that he can to serve the people, with his ultimate goal being improving rural areas and developing economic centres to meet the needs of the people for them to live a dignified life.
Subasubani said he will be guided in his work at the CoW by the Swapo-party manifesto, constitution and other policy documents.