SWAPO United, SWAPO Victorious, Now hard work...

Get Involved

Sign Up Donate Networking Have Your Say

Join my SWAPO online community, to share your vision of a better Namibia, participate in discussion forums, and receive regular updates by e-mail.Make your voice heard: Tell the world about your views and suggestions. Write to newspapers, call in to talk shows, share your experiences of the first fifteen years of freedom, and how working together we can do more.


Of bread and butter issues

By Nkrumah Mushelenga
Some school of thoughts call it "bread and butter struggle" while, others describe it as the "struggle for economic liberation" These are two schools of thoughts but dreaming for the same end results. The word struggle is always characterized by positive connotation especially, when it is linked to a sentence such as "liberation struggle" some of the synonyms of the word struggle are, "move violently, resist, and fight back".

It is important to differentiate between the word "struggle and revolution" Some of the synonyms of revolution are; "rebellion, revolt, uprising, upheaval, insurgency, insurrection, mutiny and riot".

The point I am trying make is that, there are again, two schools of thoughts, one that believe in a "just struggle, while the other believe in what they term as "unjust struggle". Example, when the brave sons and daughters of this land were fighting a protracted diplomatic and armed struggle to liberate mother land Namibia, for sure, that was a just war hence, we received international support from the then Frontline States, the then Soviet Union, the People's Republic of China and many others.

Despite that, some members of international communities particularly in the west, considered our just struggle as an unjust struggle, hence they provided financial, moral and military equipments to the then colonial administration for the sustainable exploitation of both Namibia and South Africa natural resources, by using the then South Africa's minority white regime as a conveyer belt of our natural resources into Europe and North Americas. "Our struggle has never been in vain". (Comrade Moses Garoeb soon after Namibia's independence 1990)

As an African freedom fighter, I am delighted to see that, the youth of the African Continent particularly those in the SADC region, those whose forefathers and mothers had had dedicated most of their youth time to liberate, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Angola Mozambique and brought about democratic system in South Africa, they speak with one voice on bread and butter issues, the struggle for Africa's economic liberation. That the objectives of liberation struggle for which we scarified our youth time was not only for political independence, but was organized in such away, that is carried out in two phases, political independence and than economic liberation.

"Africa's liberation heroes and heroines fought for a better life for future generations, and not to see the youths of the continent languishing in poverty. Comrade Ronald Lamola New Era, 31/08/2012. We as the ANCYL remain convinced that our revolutionary relationship should proceed to fight for economic freedom for the people of Africa as a whole he said.

He then pointed out that the heroes of the liberation movement, such as Dr, Sam Nujoma, Samora Machel, Patrick Lumumba, Robert Mugabe and Dr. Agostinho Neto, have spend their youth liberating our countries to sustainably ensure that African Continent, is economically prosperous and that the natural resources of Africa are utilized for the benefit of the people Africa.

Comrade Lamola is in fact telling truth, and it is a fact that truth never hide. It is true that we the veterans of the liberation struggle did not fight for a better life for ourselves, but, that of our future generations. It is also true, that many heroes and heroine of the liberation struggle sleep sleepless night, because they did not liberate our countries, only to see the African youths languishing in perpetual poverty. This is happening despite the fact that we have a huge economy as compared to a less population. What is wrong?

"We want to discuss bread and butter issues. Delegates have no time to waste on petty issues, what was at stake was the future of Namibians, the majority of whom lived in abject poverty when the country had enough resources to share" We want economic independence" "We have enough god given resources in this country to make every Namibian happy. Making every Namibian happy is not a luxury. It is a right" "We know what belong to us. What belong to us is ours, and it is not negotiable" Dr. Ngurare, Namibia Today (31/08/to 06th /09/2012.

Dr. Ngurare is just telling the truth. It is true that what belongs to us, is ours and not negotiable. What is that which belong to us? The land, the sea, the air and its natural economic resources The question is, is it, that there is no enough god given natural resources that we can equitable share among ourselves? or, is just that we are not getting the right formula how best we can benefit from our natural resources? How do we address the burning issues of bread and butter, without economic liberation? The only democratic means left is to critical and objectively analyze Article 100 and come up with national patriotic based interpretation that depict the objective of our liberation struggle.

"I want people to remember me as someone whose life has been helpful to humanity" Thomas Sankara (opinion Southern Time, 01/07/2012. He further attributed the success of the revolution to the obtainment of gender equality, adding that the revolution and women's liberation go together.

We do not talk of women's emancipation as an act of charity he said, or out of a surge of human compassion. It is according to him, a basic necessity for the revolution to triumph."

The late Sankara is warning us that unless men and women value each other, that we are all potential stakeholders in the straggle for economic independence, if not, such struggle will not succeed. Hence, a clarion call, for the African men and women to embraces the ongoing struggle for the liberation of our god given natural economic resources? of course, there could be those who may interpret this noble task as a source of "unjust revolution", but truth never hide. I am predicting such a situation, because I am quite convinced that the struggle for "bread and butter" or, for "economic liberation" is going to be longer and bitter, than the then, protracted diplomatic and armed liberation struggle for political independence.

Dr. Kwame Nkrumah at one point in time said, "the independence of Ghana is meaningless, unless is linked to the whole of African Continent" What does this means to you, the youths of Africa? this simple means that unless Africa's political independence is linked to economic independence in the really sense, if not, we will remain poorer while our economic resources on the land, the sea, and indeed the air remains in the hands of those who hate us the most, who pretend to be our friends in darkness, who have humiliated Africans through slave trade and inhuman apartheid system.

1884 Berlin Conference should serves as a lesson to all of us, that this was a long term strategic objective meeting, to ensure continuity in exploiting Africa's natural resources during and after what they knew was going to come, political independence.

The late comrade Thomas Sankara has left us with a living dream, a dream of wanting people to remember him as some one whose life has been helpful to humanity. The question is how many of aspiring African leaders are aspired to be remembered as having been helpful to humanity? I am aware that "somebody's heart is another state". This is left to individual to objectively reflect not only on our performances but also on our daily dreams. How do we want to be remembered, yesterday, today and tomorrow?

The late Comrade Moses Garoeb, the icon of Namibia's liberation struggle, once said "our liberation struggle has never been in vain what does this mean to the youths, future leaders of the land of the brave? It is a fact that we have politically liberated ourselves. It is also a fact that no body else from any where in the world will come to bring for us economic liberation on a silver plate. The bread and butter struggle is going to be very aggressive, because it is going to be characterized by brother to brother, sister to sister, mother to children and husband to wives finger pointing, name calling and exaggeration of truth.

Never the less, what is important is that this is not politics, but a clarion call for all of us to embrace the, bread and batter and economic liberation struggle, to bring about socialeconomic justice and fairness to the disadvantage majority of our people.

May God bless the land of the brave!


SWAPO Headquarters Mandume Strt
Windhoek, Katutura