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HH's latest ravings and rantings

By Paul T. Shipale
At the opening of the 3rd Session of the 5th Parliament, H.E. President Hifikepunye Pohamba emphasized, "We should pause to reflect and ponder about our common future and the direction in which our nation is going. This introspection is necessary to stay focused, remain on the right track, sharpen our approaches and ensure effectiveness."

It seems some did not heed this clarion call to continue with the noble task of nation building but instead reverted to their old self of finding fault and finger pointing. Despite the fact that there does not appear to be enough compressed air in the system that needs a small spark to literally blast the bubble and set off a chain reaction of events that could spiral out of control because the chances of a mass uprising are slim here, there are those hell bent on hatching out and concocting cocktails' Molotov meant to disrupt peace and harmony. In magnanimity of triumph, we should humble ourselves and create an inclusive society to take the wind out of the sails of those who are hellbent on destabilizing our peaceful country and cause havoc, I once wrote.

After pocketing N$ 37 000 from his party in monthly rental fees and facing a power struggle, is HH seeking to divert attention from RDP's meltdown? The Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP) president, Hidipo Hamutenya, in what appears to be a campaign to divert attention from the power struggle in the ranks of his party, has accused the Namibian Government of failing to put people's need first, as it was reported in the Namibian newspaper of Tuesday 18 October 2011.

Hamutenya made his accusation at a public meeting attended by his party members at Keetmanshoop on Saturday, where he also claimed that a few individuals well connected to the Nujoma and Pohamba families are siphoning off millions from the State coffers and urged his supporters to change what he called 'a rotten government during the next national elections' in two and a half years' time.

HH, as he is commonly known, also revealed at the said public meeting that his party has started with its election campaign. Well, the last part is quite revelatory and gives a hint as to why HH made those allegations.

Indeed, according to Mr Hamutenya's own admission, his party has started with its election campaign in earnest then his remarks are nothing but electioneering speeches because, last time I checked, the country was ranked at Number six according to the Mo Ibrahim index while President Pohamba was rated as one of the best Head of States in Africa, how can Mr HH come up with the statement that says the Head of State is reducing the country to the stone ages in terms of poverty and that 'only a few individuals well connected to Nujoma and Pohamba are siphoning off millions from the State coffers'?

The editor of Namibia Today once wrote that "four years after the formation of RDP, the party is in tatters, there is no recovery gear. Even those who were enthusiastic four years ago have now realised that it was all an uninformed political lust that risked every precious thing there was, and rescued nothing. Today, RDP is not what its architects drew on the building plan.

It is a wreck of its former plan that can no longer be redrawn to inspire anybody. It is a discarded political carcass few would want to be associated with. Those behind the infighting and jostling for leadership positions are individuals dashing for the few table crumbs there are today, just to survive for the next day or so, beyond that, there is no hope." No wonder HH's attempts to revive his party. Which reminded me of a certain Katrina Khai-Anis who wrote in the then Smith's Windhoek Observer of 19 November 2005, saying when she was 'watching the little performance...she suddenly had a sense of deja vu:' was this not exactly the same kind of scene when Mr Cobra, who was so much against name calling, was trying to ram HH's bid through the electorate? Was this not the same HH 'who does not have to resort to political chicanery, slander, mud-slinging and intimidation for support' because he supposedly commands and continues to command such overwhelming support and respect' as it was said by a certain 'True daughter of the Namibian soil' in the then Smith's Windhoek Observer of 13 May 2006?

Like Mrs Katrina Khai-Anis', we also tested a little 'criminological theory', oops I mean, theory in criminology, by taking available writing samples of all the likely suspects and ran them through a computer programme that compared them to aka Cobra's use of language, punctuation, syntax, semantics and, of course, tendency to repeatedly make the same blunders, and is like, hey-duh. Turns out the most common mistake people make when trying to pick a false name is to use their own initials again and among our prime suspect, one has exactly the same initials: JC aka Jonathan Cobra -John C/ Groebler! Amazing isn't it? To come back to Mr HH's ranting, is he perhaps referring to the revelation that he was pocketing N$37 000 from RDP as monthly rental fees? Maybe Mr HH is amnesic about his contribution to the high number of unemployed Namibians through his many failed projects as it was written in the media? Perhaps again, Mr HH is referring to when only a few individuals well connected to him and 'all those hyenas that were sitting around him with the golden tooth flashing every time they say 'yesh comrade preshident' hoping he was going to win the elections and who siphoned off millions from State coffers through many failed Projects as it was then widely circulated in the printed media? (See this from a certain Katrina Khai-Anis who wrote in the then Smith's Windhoek Observer of 19 November 2005) 'Call them the (PIDICO) X-5s and Kompressors overaccessorized who are fond of too much expensive aftershave'. 'Everyone got cars, and cell phones even make believe jobs' like DG of a State Parastatal and even a Director who couldn't count and came up with all these Cuca shop conspiracy theories of rigging elections.

I mean this is a man leading a group of people who promised to build houses at Omuthiya and money running out of water taps or some other fallacies of that nature and whose party came with much fanfare but ended up in political infighting and jostling for leadership positions as well as spending even the meagre financial resources on petty issues that only helped to build personalities at the expense of growing the party itself, as it was said by one disappointed RDP Youth League member, as quoted in the Namibia Today of 19-24 August 2011, after the disillusionment, discontent and a painful feeling of being betrayed. "The party's direction has been submerged by individual rivalries vying for money and power than cementing the party" said the disappointed RDP 'Youth Storm Brigade', I mean, Youth League member.

Indeed, in those days one just had to see who 'the HH forever crowd nouveau riche were by just looking at which Parastatal was cooking over like porridge into the fire, but then the chickens came home to roost-and what a fine, hot Nando's eggs they were laying! Eto! Monyaanda oove? Some ended up unemployed after quitting their jobs lured by the prospect of becoming VIPs, a sure sign that God still sometimes has a sense of humour'.

Katrina Khai-Anis can keep on "dreaming of a sign from above that the very one that was responsible for HH's expulsion had to make way for HH's comeback to parliament". They can keep on having that "sneaking suspicion that in five years time, oops I forgot time runs fast, shoo! I mean in two and a half years' time they are going to see this divine intervention go all the way for HH to become President?' Yeah right! Keep on dreaming. Well, the God I serve didn't show me that way back in 1997 when he revealed to me that in ten years' time, a splinter party would be formed. I even remember singing "even if you try to persuade and lure us to follow you, we believe in Sam (Nujoma), because he is the one we first saw with a gun in his hand, we are Africans, born and bred in Africa and we will bear our children in Africa, Namibia".

Unless, Mr HH wants to tell us that he is campaigning and wants to turn the public attention from the fact that he is pocketing from his party a handsome cheque of N$37 000 as monthly rental fees while his loyal disciples left their jobs to follow him like the biblical disciples, only to realise later that they were following the false and unanointed messiah. Let it be clear that we are not political guinea pigs for political adventures and egomaniac experiments.

Nevertheless, in the final lines of this article, I will turn back to what I once wrote as to why do we need to revisit Fanon's ideas today? The masses of the World are now prone to spontaneous uprisings, particularly in cities filled with the unemployed and the excluded surrounded by shanty towns. Their situation matches the one Fanon so aptly described.

As globalization proceeds with overwhelming military force to negate people and societies and suppress freedom and choices, one was tempted to foresee a "wave of anti globalization and anti corporate and financial institutions".

In less than half a century, we are back to the questions Fanon raised in the Wretched of the Earth which goes to show that we are in need of a new Bandung conference and a paradigm shift from the marriage between capitalism and a unique model of democracy imposed through regime change and state intervention with more freedoms and social justice. As the situation of the unemployed and marginalized in shanty towns deteriorates, and as unorganized popular uprisings become regular events in the world, Fanon's work becomes as relevant as ever. I do not wish here to give a detailed review of Fanon's social analysis or the elements of revolution and counter revolution as he saw them. But let's pause to consider how much weight he attached to the revolutionary force of the peasantry, of women's power, and of the latent power of the lumpen proletariat.

Fanon was not a conventional dialectician, nor did he depend on history as an analytical tool. He felt the strength of the "colonialist phenomenon" and he railed against the rape of cities and countryside alike by capitalism. This is why he was interested in the class he refers to as the middle class but more often as the national bourgeoisie.

He blames this particular class for its identification with the racist colonialists and criticizes its "treasonous" failure to carry out its historic role as a national tool of progress.

Armed with this vision, Fanon concluded that the proletariat was a subsidiary force that sought the crumbs of colonialist bridges. The only redeeming elements of the proletariat are, for him, the revolutionaries, the women, and their supporters from the ranks of the lumpen proletariat. The peasants, according to Fanon, are a revolutionary class ready to embrace the revolutionary system and capable of retaining a communal spirit while upholding precolonial creeds and legacy unlike city dwellers. Unlike the national bourgeoisie, the peasants have no feelings of inferiority.

Their folklore supports the notion of resistance and their impoverished status makes them ripe for revolutionary ideas as well as self-awareness.

However, not being a patient dialectician, Fanon failed to see the implications of the peasantry's isolation from the process of capitalist accumulation. He also failed to see that the peasantry's lack of alienation would limit their awareness of the ongoing contradictions.

Unless the peasants are moved by their revolutionary consciousness, their own social structure would not entice them into action. From the ranks of the impoverished peasants, a new stratum emerges, one that caused controversy among Marxists and liberals alike; the lumpen proletariat. Marx was harsh about them, whereas Lenin was relatively sympathetic, for he saw this stratum as a revolutionary reserve that can be tapped. In the lumpen proletariat, Fanon equally saw a great potential. Those countryside people, much praised by Fanon, seek the cities to make a living, but end up living in shanty towns bordering the cities, leaving their families behind. They, Fanon argued, were allies of the revolution because of their spontaneity, their courageous ability to rebel, and their resentment of the social colonial system. Unless the revolutionaries recruit the lumpen proletariat - as Lenin advised - the colonialists would.

Perhaps Fanon's concern about this stratum should draw our attention to the armies of the unemployed in our midst, the millions of impoverished city dwellers who often - quite spontaneously - carry out bread riots, stage popular uprising against corruption, and mount protests against unemployment.

Studies in political sociology often warn that neo-colonial states and the local forces of globalization may use this category of people to their advantage and this is what HH is trying to do but thanks to the revolutionary and militant youth, this will not happen.

These views do not necessarily represent the views of my employer nor am I paid to write them.


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