Saturday 15 May 2021
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The Patriot changes size

The Patriot has changed. A year after the paper entered the local media landscape as the country’s second broadsheet size, it has now undergone a redesign. A major driving force is the need to save on production costs.
We have decided to change the size of the newspaper to tabloid-size to ensure that we continue giving you the well-sourced informative news that has become synonymous with The Patriot. The general economic climate in the country is not only confined to the public sector, the private sector is equally perturbed by the situation, hence responsible business decisions must be taken to weather the economic turbulence in the country to ensure a sustainable future. We are not disguising the fact that we have brought the paper down in size. But we can assure our patriotic readers that changing the size of the paper does not mean we are decreasing the output in terms of news-both quality and quantity-that aspect remains firmly intact. Decisions about limited resources are difficult; there is a fine balance between the production and the cost of producing a quality newspaper-a fete to which any other media house can attest to.

Day of infamy
Exactly 39 years ago yesterday, Namibia’s refugee camp was attacked by South African soldiers in Angola. The day (4 May) has since been set aside by government to commemorate the lives of more than 600 Namibians- mostly women and children-who lost their lives on that fateful day. The evocative epitaph enshrined on the Kohima war memorial in Nagaland, built to commemorate soldiers of the empire who laid down their lives to repel Japanese assault in 1944 during World War-II which reads: “When you go home, tell them of us and say, for your tomorrow, we gave our today” best encapsulates the thoughts of those who lost their lives at Cassinga, and the entire liberation struggle at large. So many sacrifices were made to ensure that Independence is attained, but with the current happenings in present day Namibia, one is perplexed and is often left to think whether those who died for our freedom would be proud with the state of affairs transpiring in the country.

To point out some of the affairs, rampant looting of public resources, corruption, inequality, tribalism, violence and greed, are but a small part of the bigger puzzle which divides Namibia. To date, hundreds of capital projects have been on ice in a bid to save government millions of dollars. Some of these projects include roads, hospitals and schools that would directly benefit those in the regions. These are all projects aimed at improving the lives of all Namibians, yet there are a few who shamelessly hijack what is meant to benefit the majority to feed their own greed. Moreover, Namibia is faced with an uphill battle in addressing the issue of youth unemployment, land re-distribution, reparations for the 1904-1908 Ovaherero and Nama genocide, poverty eradication and economic independence of the majority of the populace to name but a few. The above-mentioned predicaments carries with them the potential to disturb peace and stability that prevail for now. While delivering his third State of the Nation Address (SONA) last month, President Hage Geingob warned that youth unemployment that stands at 39% is a threat to peace and stability. Land is another burning issue. During the 1991 land, government resolved to expropriate 15 million hectares by 2020 (Henning Melber, 2014).

To this day, government has managed to transfer a meagre 2.5 million hectares of that target. With three years to go before 2020, it is only safe to say the target (15 million hectares) will not be achieved. The question of land in Namibia has led to the formation of various land movements- a sign that Namibians are hungry to acquire their own piece of land. Social differences are some of the factors that continue to hamper growth in Namibia because groups would more often fight for the same course using different means instead of coming to together to devise the best possible measures to challenge societal issues causing friction in the country. Yesterday’s commemoration of Cassinga Day should serve as a reminder for us all that unity prevailed at all times during the fight for Independence, certainly it can carry the country during the fight to eliminate poverty and ensure economic freedom.

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