By: Modestus Kasoma
My generation has a unique name widely referred to as the “born-free” generation.
They were the first generation born free of colonialism, racism and apartheid. In theory, they have more opportunities than ever.
However, this promise does not seem to have materialised. This story of broken promises will lead us right to the trenches where we began. According to the World Bank, Namibia is the most economically unequal country in the world after 33 years of independence.
Statistically, many black Namibians are still at a disadvantage, living in abject poverty, misery with fewer employment opportunities and lower wages.
The incarceration of Michael Amushelelo, who has occupied the minds and souls of the downtrodden, security guards, marginalised and unemployed youth who believe in his cause, as a beacon of hope evokes the question of legitimacy and integrity in our judiciary system.
Recently, Namibian social media platforms and community conversations have been overshadowed with the High Court’s decisions that denied Michael Amushelelo bail since his arrest on 21 March 2023.
This has been the talk of the nation. Many ordinary Namibians believe that his charges are frivolous and fabricated because he dared to defy the status quo by demanding the commanding heights of the economy to benefit the development of all Namibians and speaking truth to power.
The inability of people to do what they are supposed to do without threats and intimidation is a testimony that the government is anti-poor and anti-black in outlook and philosophy.
It is disheartening that gross violations of fundamental human rights and freedom are ongoing in an era of democratic dispensation, increasingly faced by patriotic young activists throughout the country, who are carrying human rights messages and bringing about meaningful impact on the livelihood of people in their communities.
My government has been unleashing violence on its own youth who represents the most important sector of the nation.
Violence is perpetuated through unlawful arrests and detention, high unemployment rates, poverty, lack of housing, inequality and corruption by the elites.
There are shrewd intellectuals and stooges in our society. The middle class whose mandate, behaviour and way of thinking is to keep the status quo and proclaim the absolute need that their narrative dominates public imagination and thoughts.
It is a doctrine of nationalising the theft of national resources in the hands of the minority for self-enrichment. Therefore, it is imperative that the general youth population be made to understand and become more vigilant to defend our governing institutions that are misgoverned.
In the annals of history, young people have been at the forefront of resisting oppression. It is unwise for a government that is led by former freedom fighters to underestimate the power of the youth.
The power structure draws its legitimacy, validity and strength solely from faith that the general population believes in its operational system.
This is what Mahatma Gandhi meant when he said, “There is a higher court than courts of justice and that is the court of conscience. It supersedes all other courts”.
Even the illiterate people in our communities know and can see that there is injustice and unfairness when it happens.
One will conclude that Amushelelo’s fate is not about being a constitutional delinquent. It is the nature of politics that is dominated by powerful classes that use state institutions and structure to suppress dissent.
This calls for collective interest and solidarity to all peace-loving Namibians, in particular, the youth to stand up, to demand for an independent and impartial judiciary that is free from political influence, and capture which is paramount for peace, order and harmony.
Chief Hosea Katjikururume Komombumbi Kutako’s words still echo: “You must never be fearful about what you are doing when it is right. The reality is that when the judiciary system collapses, we will all consequently be massacred.