I have recently encountered folks, including friends, who, upon having vigorously supported Job Amupanda’s buffoonery, now saying they have become disenchanted with him and rightly so.
Whether it is because the “Land Messiah” and his two shadows have dismally failed to deliver the land they had promised the masses; instead chose to steal from the very masses through their “Land a Dollar” initiative; still haven’t so much as proceeded to any of the beneﬁts or any number of other things they had promised and some die-hard Afﬁrmative Repositioning supporters now purport to be off the AR train, so to speak.
After being established to be a movement within Swapo, purposely to undermine government efforts while being led by a strategic young leader, an academic of some sorts with ties to the highest of the high educational institutions in the country so that it would be very easy to poison the minds of the students, inﬁltrate movements such as Nanso, Nantu and youths in general to turn them against government, AR is headed for a very sad end.
I used to be friends with Amupanda and I knew when his cause was just. Amupanda presented himself as a ‘Land Messiah’ advocating for the landless and as the voice of the landless. When he presented to me his blueprint in our ﬁnal meeting on what he was going to do in his quest for power, that’s when I knew he had lost it. That’s when I knew his was a power-hungry quest and an attempt to revive his ﬂoundering political career.
The moment I disagreed with him because I believed I owed the truth to the youth that believed in me, that’s the day our friendship died. He is like dictator; he can’t stand a person who disagrees with him with facts. Now after having galvanized the political scene with his unrivalled blitz of bravado, theatricality, shameless naming and shaming of individuals and groups in the process garnering the loyalty of ardent followers since his ousting from the Swapo Party Youth League, it is safe to say that Namibian youths can now see how fake Amupanda is.
Any impartial individual, having studied the dynamics around his AR and its inner-working, wouldn’t help but see that the hyperbolic level of hypocrisy they have ﬂaunted is ﬁnally catching up with them. They sang songs, clapped hands and danced on their tails for Jerry Ekandjo during his presidential campaign, when we do the same for the party and the President we get called names. They have called us hand clappers and zombies because we refused to buy into their sordid agenda. What is happening now when we have exposed their real agenda?
The moment Amupanda took those pictures eating salad with the corrupt elite; we knew we have been right all along. He can’t fool young Namibia anymore and one thing is for sure, Amupanda hurt his credibility by associating himself with men like Desmond Amunyela and Vaino Nghipondoka. While we have long known he has lost it, but the salad moment is when majority of the youth he had brainwashed began to see the truth.
He and his two shadows have become directionless. His leadership lacks cohesion and relevant subject matters. Namibian youths can see what Amupanda and his AR has become. They cannot be fooled anymore, cannot be fooled into believing that President Hage cannot run this country.
That’s why there is this exodus from AR, and for a few simple reasons, I ﬁnd this attitude to be, at the very least, on point. It is appropriate in every sense of the word because some people, mostly the young, naïve and less informed believed that in backing only in the case of those who, in backing Amupanda, believed that they were voting for a messiah, “our last chance” to turn this ship of state around and deliver the much needed land to the masses.
It is appropriate to be jaded or shattered by AR’s failure to meet one’s expectations after a couple years of making threats and empty promises. Had they remained just land activist, people would still believe in them, but instead they tried to use land activism to redeem and revive their faltering political careers.
They went on the offence to try to destabilize the country, throwing every piece of dirt they could lay their hands on at the President, trying to fool a person into believing Dr.Hage is to be blamed for everything that’s wrong with the country. Instead of patiently working with the President and government, they let Facebook likes and comments mislead them into thinking that they could be a serious threat to our peace and stability.
It’s one thing to point out the President’s shortcomings, but try to exaggerate them in attempt to further one’s agenda and revive one’s political career is just preposterous. Perhaps more importantly than all else, one thinks of a society’s politics narrowly, in terms of the policies enacted by politicians. For certain, President Hage must be held accountable for his shortcomings, if there any. His supporters must be as vigilant in criticizing him as they are in defending him against his increasingly unhinged enemies.
There is, however, all of the difference in the world between reasonable and unreasonable criticism. And that’s exactly what folks at the Afﬁrmative Repositioning and other anti-Hage elements seem to lack. As the drumbeat to prevent President Hage from getting a second term reaches near fever pitch in some quarters, it is important for all fair-minded Namibians to understand if that happens, Namibia as we know it is ﬁnished and gone to corruption and tribalism.
At some point this year some anti-Hage folks felt that they were close to their goal of destroying Namibia they could almost touch it. They smelled the sweet aroma of victory in the distance, believing that the inﬂuence of Armas Amukwiyu in the regions, the suasion of Amupanda, the cunning of Elia Ngurare and the monies of Vaino Nghipondoka and biased media machinery of Desmond Amunyela would carry across the ﬁnish line the torch that their power-hungriness and greed lit.
Then use it like a ﬂame thrower to incinerate what remained of Namibian values. They felt they were that close, believe you me. Media houses as saturated in anti-Hage as a urine-soaked puppy training pad continued non-stop to push anti-Hage propaganda. For example, the shameless hypocrisy of the Windhoek Observer is astounding.
Journalists inebriated with their mission to take down President Hage had zero interest in aggressive “attack-dog” journalism when other presidents were in ofﬁce. If anything, they are covering for the anti-Hage’s culture of deceit from beginning to end. They are protecting their conniving owners and their associates with their newsroom manufactured lies about what really is going on in the regions and in the country at large. They are covering for Amupanda when he owes the masses an explanation about the proceeds from the ‘Land a Dollar’ campaign”, and are looking the other way when their preferred candidates are suffering embarrassing defeats in the regional elections.
My friends constantly ask me if I’m not worried that the insults and lies towards President Hage by those with sordid agendas bother him. I simply tell them that the President is far from bothered because those insults and lies are far away beneath the dignity of his ofﬁce and the man that he is. He is an upstanding man with dignity.
There could not be a man of more quiet dignity than him amidst the outrageous lies and politically motivated hatreds that is trying to undermine his presidency. Could there be another human being in this country who so highly prizes and embodies collegiality and propriety than President Hage?
The only problem perhaps is that while he is playing by the rules of dignity, collegiality and propriety, his enemies have been, since inception, engaged in a knife ﬁght where the only rules are those that work in their favour. I don’t ﬁnd anything digniﬁed, collegial or proper about their lies about President Hage in order to ramp up tribal hatreds because tribal hatreds serve their agenda well.
In point of fact, within a remarkably short span of time, President Hage has achieved an impressive array of feats: Whether it is ﬁghting for and, for practical purposes, transparency and inclusivity, championing the ﬁght against corruption and presiding over the cancellation all the irregularly awarded tenders; deterring looters of this country from stealing from government by tightening regulations and plucking in on the gaps.
To mention but simple and few of the achievements that President Hage can claim credit for despite having served in ofﬁce for such a short period of time. To me it is not Hage the man or even candidate at congress that is of primary importance. It is, rather, the “Hage Process,” as I like to term it. I’m not alone among those of us who support President Hage because of what he represents to this country. The “Hage Process” transcends Hage. The Process transcends politics, conceived narrowly in terms of the machinery of the government.
The Hage Process, we are sure, will indelibly impact our culture as Namibians, for as some of us in particular have already realized, a society’s “politics” are “downstream” from its culture. Dr. Hage’s presidency and the spread of the Hage Process signify two extremely powerful cultural shifts. They symbolize a resounding repudiation of the “elitism” with all that this entails, and an equally resounding repudiation of the nation-dividing and stability-threatening of those who deem to be more important than others because of their political connections, something that the anti-Hage army of elitist enemies has been relentlessly pushing for in recent months.
Dr. Hage is indeed perceived by his enemies to be dangerous to their whole way of life is gotten easily enough from the mercilessness with which they pursue every opportunity to stall his agenda. This, however, brings us to the second virtue of the Hage Process.
If not for President Hage, majority of Namibians who would have otherwise remained oblivious to it all would not have awakened to the sinister, manipulative machinations of those that have tried to capture the state whose members support and are sympathetic to the chaos of the Afﬁrmative Repositioning movement. President Hage, whether or not he intended it, unveiled the moral rot of some people in Swapo, just how biased Namibian media can be, all while revealing that, their protestations to the contrary notwithstanding, they constitute but different facets of a single unitary party.
If Dr Hage’s nomination to the presidency didn’t shook up the corrupt within in Swapo, it was the equivalent of a bomb that did its fair share of damage. Thanks to President Hage’s tenure, we have gotten to see just how crooked opportunists and media propagandists.
We will never see them in the same light again because the Hage Process is the light that sending the rats scattering. Dr Hage’s presidency, the Hage Process, is a disruptive force. It is starting to look like as if it could be the ﬁrst step toward a much better and prosperity- afﬁrming Namibia, with the kind of social order that we crave and precisely that state of affairs for which many of us who love this country hope for.
And those AR members tired of Amupanda and his conniving ways, yes, you are right to revise your support for elements such as Afﬁrmative Repositioning and other disruptive forces that are detrimental to our progress.
Dr.Hage or, more speciﬁcally and in keeping with my term of choice, the Hage Process, has been a wrecking ball vis-à-vis economic opportunism and power-hungriness. I’m at pains to clarify in this column against these hibernators who, incapable of seeing the forest for the trees, refusing to so much as consider allowing the President to be unchallenged at congress, it is for these reasons, for the sake of the creative disruption of the Hage Process that all prosperity -lovers could and should support President Hage at congress. And it is for these reasons that lovers of prosperity elsewhere in this country should avoid being confused by Afﬁrmative Repositioning and support President Hage.