Stop the grandstanding

12 June 2015

Job Amupanda has been making the headlines since last November when he led a three man gang to occupy land in the Kleine Kuppe suburb of Windhoek in a show of defiance.

Since his historical ‘heroics’,  Amupanda and his Affirmative Repositioning movement have garnered a large following especially among the youth who have bought into his radical stance on issues.

While he has managed to bring to national attention the artificial shortage of land to the annoyance of those in power, sadly, Amupanda has gone about his business with reckless bravado attacking without restraint those he perceives as elites or zombies. Someone needs to remind him about the art of diplomacy.

While Amupanda and his followers have the right to ask for land to build their houses, his actions and lack of respect for those in power will get him nowhere.

Amupanda has proved to be a master at whipping up the emotions of the youth who have all of a sudden gathered the courage to stand up against the authorities. But what does he hope to achieve with his defiance and lack of respect?

You cannot go around attacking people with reckless abandon and expect the very same people to take you seriously.

Amupanda might rightfully argue that Government has done nothing or little to address the housing shortage in the country, but will confrontation with the authorities resolve anything?

Daily insults from Amupanda and silence from the side of Government will only escalate the situation.

Amupanda and his crew should remember that Government cannot be arm twisted to provide land to the AR applicants while there are other people who have been on the housing waiting list for years.

At the end of the day, there is need for dialogue between Government and AR officials to map the way forward, but obviously the grandstanding has to stop.

If Minister Sophia Shaningwa is to be believed, Amupanda’s failure to meet the minister as discussed between the two raises eyebrows.

Only he knows why he has not fulfilled his promise to the minister, but one thing that is certain is that both Government and the AR leaders need to get off their high horses and come together to find a workable solution.

What happened last weekend at the Goreagab dam is a taste of things to come if there is no dialogue.

While attempts by the City Police to prevent the youth from gathering at the dam was regrettable and should never be condoned, it paints a picture of how authorities plan to deal with what they perceive as lawlessness.

Regrettably, such actions by the City Police fuels the ‘us’ versus ‘them’ mentality as it might be seen by the youth that the elites, as Amupanda loves to call them, are not sincere about resolving their problems and will do anything to stop them from getting land.



The Windhoek Observer is an English-language weekly newspaper, published in Namibia by Paragon Investment Holding. It is the country's oldest and largest circulating weekly.

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