We are all aware of the current state of affairs which are marred with growing dissatisfaction, complain, hopelessness and despair. In short, we are living a deeply fragile socio-economic, socio-cultural, socio-political context.
I’m grateful to live in a country that grants me the liberty to contribute even engage political issues – without threat to my freedom of existence, safety etc. However, it seems that many of us are losing perspective of this liberty that it comes with responsibility. First, we have a responsibility to inform society and generate constructive in education dialogue.
Secondly, we’ve the responsibility of to promote civility in the public square. Thirdly, we’ve to motivate political commons sense based on reflection on issues that matter.
Lastly, we’ve to be guardians of this heritage but promoting social values that would contribute to nation building and reconciliation.
However, there are some who think that ideologies of insults and dismantling everything till chaos becomes our common denominator is the way to deal with our challenges and difference. They throw mud at all who don’t hold to ideologies different from theirs and everything is wrong unless it is based on their version of reality.
I’m particularly referring to the Landless People’s Movement (LPM). Since Swartbooi received a boot from the SWAPO structures, he’s embarked on a mission not to create a new social order, the kind that hinges on racial and tribal divisions.
The idea of revolution as the only route to have change, although ideally attractive need to be challenge. If this is really the way to change, the DRC should be the most changed African country by now, instead it is a cesspool of all sorts of disorder.
This form of ideological poverty undermines our own democracy and constitutionally protected freedoms. The LPM’s recent remarks through its leader is not challenging structures but purely a movement of revenge against SWAPO. A movement of that kind exists like a parasite, its purpose will cease to be when its host is no more. Its lack of original life makes it a potential social danger and their recent behaving against the Land Conference proved it.
Surely, the land conference was in every sense of the word a setup to waste the meagre state resources, however, that was not a place to call for the imprisonment of our current and former presidents. Swartbooi’s rambling with the parroted behaviour of the South African EFF, resembles the lack of ideology and put to question his own political credibility and ability to lead.
The liberties we have that allow us to exercise our freedom of expression cannot be taken for granted and to threaten them with foolish statements is an insult. We inherited and negotiated for a system that doesn’t serve the interest of everyone. We’re aware of the socio-economic inequalities and there are thousands of Namibians who live with these realities on a daily basis. To advocate for a view that undermines all national efforts, however slow and unstructured, resembles inhumanity towards those who live with these realities.
It is one thing to be passionate about justice, but passion alone without reason becomes a springboard for folly. The LPM by its very actions and confessions is headed down the road to perdition, committing political suicide before it even started to be an established political player. This kind of immaturity that functions on sensationalism insults the very hopes of the poor and marginalised who’d like to see justice. To use a political stage to display one’s own failed dreams and unfulfilled revenge at the expense of the socially dispossessed is an act of social immorality.
It’s not only the LPM but there are many others who have made themselves social activists but whose only goal is to advocate theories of insults. Such approaches undermine the efforts of many youth who are seeking genuine critical engagement with the contemporary issues facing society.
When society is already burdened with so many ills, we cannot afford groups that simply serve to be antagonistic but have no alternative to the problems. In as much as some of us may think that the land conference was but an empty gimmick, we still have the responsibility to represent those whom we claim to be representing rather than boycotting. It’s worrisome that at the pace of some self-proclaimed leaders of social-justice is headed towards collective catastrophic failure. Playing on the emotions of the needy just to advance their personal grudges and having nothing substantial to offer. This in itself calls for an ethical review of such conduct. To use the poor, dispossessed and marginalised to become part of a cohort that is going nowhere simply inflicts greater pain and defeats our efforts to fight injustice.
The public has the responsibility to disengage against practices that insult efforts that are being made to deal with the broken structures we inherited. Poverty, unemployment, landlessness etc are real but the how should be engaged at the expense of destroying what we have. The idea of revolutions, had they worked all of Latin America should be in much better socio-economic conditions.
Therefore, instead of embracing sensationalist gimmicks, we should engage where it is necessary to advocate for change, it may be slow and painful but we’ll be able to say that it has truly been our own process. Namibians deserve better, and we’ve come out of history of turmoil, we cannot return to that jungle, we can do better and we should seek better and embrace what could be better.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this paper are my own and do not represent those of IUM or its associate.