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Is Municipality campaigning for RDP?

By Concerned Patriot
The City of Windhoek has been out on a campaign to make the RDP win the next elections by chasing voters into the arms of that sell-out for 'rescue'. First, the City has been evicting squatters; then it increased traffic fines to over N$1000.00; then it ordered all shebeens to be closed.

All those steps are totally brutal and without common sense. In an article in a local daily, the City Police say they are out on a campaign to 'Secure Katutura for All', but if you read between the lines and look at the consequences of their oppression of Katutura- residents coupled with the fact that the City management is full of people with colonial nostalgia (especially the conservative whites) because of which they support the RDP, you will conclude that it is actually the campaign is 'Operation Secure Katutura for RDP'.

How else does one explain evicting squatters, and during the freezing winter cold for that matter? This year that has become worse because the houses were demolished with bulldozers. It seems the situation gets worse the closer we get to the Swapo Congress in November and the next national elections. The fact that we gave the Municipality millions from TIPEEG money for housing in the 'informal' settlements count for nothing: for whose benefit was the money used? Take it back.

The Swapo youth league has correctly characterized the action as barbaric. It is a repeat of the same kind of action whereby the colonial regime used to Casper the crop fields of peasants, and evicted the residents of the Old Location in 1959. The action against squatters is a continuation of colonial dispossession of the indigenous people of their land. How do you earmark land where people are living on for sale to developers to make big bugs? Where are those squatters supposed to live? Is it in the sea perhaps? If that is the case, those conservative white settlers, now named Namibians, who push people to the sea must pack and go!

The policy of reconciliation with and of giving citizenship to people who still harbor colonial tendencies was a fatal mistake and must be given only to those who have earned it. Anybody who tries to bring back colonialism must lose his or her citizenship of an independent Namibia. That is the only way to guarantee that Namibia will never again be colonized-even through a black face.

We cannot have a situation of having fought for independence and watch the gains of our sweat and blood being reversed. Those gains are being reversed in secret operations. These operations are carried out against black people only. Not surprising. Some of the 'City Fathers' are the very same racists who worked under the South African colonial regime.

The consequences of the operations against Katutura are calculated to antagonize blacks against Swapo. Just look at the statements made by some of those who demonstrated against the shebeen closure last week.

They said they would not vote for Swapo again. To be sure, the RDP has got a vote or two from amongst those demonstrators. The 'Secure Katutura for RDP-plan is working because now Swapo is being blamed for the mess created by the management of the Municipality: The Swapo councilors there are for window-dressing only and have no decision-making power.

It is now clear that even the high traffic fines were introduced with the view to set people against the Swapo Government. Under the circumstances of deliberate campaigning for the RDP, those fines too must be brought back to original amounts. The Municipality must return the money it so stole from drivers. The Municipality cannot go on with its colonial tactics unpunished.

Our leaders are paralysed by the provision of autonomy of the Municipality. We see the obstacle but we must not disarm. The solution is to withdraw the autonomy of the Windhoek Municipality and sub-ordinate it to the Ministry. Ideally, the Municipality could be autonomous but we must be realistic: giving autonomy to a racist with colonial nostalgia results in barbarism aimed at bringing back the good old colonial days. The Municipality has blown the trust bestowed upon it and will have only itself to blame. It has taught us a lesson the hard way never to entrust if with the fate of the masses again.

All right thinking Namibians must stand together to demand the withdrawal of the autonomy of the Municipality: there is no softer way out. The Municipality's brutality represents a return to colonialism through the backdoor in an operation to secure blacks for the RDP. You are creating fertile grounds for RDP to stand a chance to become the next Government which will open the door wide for neo-colonialism:
a foreign controlled Government with a black face for president with untold repression of the masses and political assassinations.

The City claims the squatters' houses are illegal. What is meant by 'illegal'? Is it illegal to have a piece of land for a house in your motherland? The colonizer forcibly took away the farming land of the people and stole their livestock. Why is it that only the land grab of the people out of desperation coming from neglect is considered 'illegal' but not the colonial land grab? If the squatters are evicted so must the white commercial farmers.

Right now, the people do not even have the right to settle on top of mountains where they built their houses having been chased away from the soft soil of Pionierspark in 1959. We are reliving Katutura, meaning we have no place of our own. While using the excuse of illegality to chase the people into the sea the Municipality is not doing anything to give them 'legal' dwellings. If for argument' sake the squatters were really illegal, you cannot chase someone out of a house before providing him with an alternative. That is putting the card before the horse: a foolish move at best and downright barbaric at worse. Dogs are cared for at SPCA but people are bulldozed like dogs by the City of Windhoek!

Many people who expressed sympathy with the squatters suggest that the Municipality negotiates with the squatters before evicting them. To them we say, the right to a dwelling, the right to ownership of a piece of this land Namibia is not up for negotiation. Colonial minds are having autonomy in the belly of an independent and democratic Namibia which is supposed to make room for the poor as well.

We cannot abide by a law that oppresses people. The regulations of the Municipality practices right under the nose of the Swapo Government are colonial and must be done away with. By way of digression, imagine what will happen under RDP if such horrors are happening right under the nose of the Swapo Government. The only way to stop the barbarism of the Municipality is through mass action on the ground. We must march to the Municipality in our thousands the next time something like that happens. If that does not help we must go on nation-wide solidarity strikes.

All that must be led by the combined force of the NUNW, the Swapo Youth League and NANSO. A people united will never be defeated! And the people demand: "Abolish the autonomy of the Municipality YESTERDAY!"


SWAPO Headquarters Mandume Strt
Windhoek, Katutura