Saturday, January 23, 2016

SPYL in the Hage era.

SPYL in the Hage era, is the tittle for this piece and deliberately so. It is not only  provocative and stimululating but invokes a need for analysis.

Provocative not only because of the perception that our new President along with the SWAPO leadership is anti youth but also because of the ongoing so called " SWAPO 4 "saga.

Analysis is required because SPYL must and does continue to exist in form and character, despite the fact that two of the movements senior leaders have been expelled and are involved in a court batte against the party over their expulsions. That some have deemed this to be without just cause and anti democratic, is a subject of much debate. I will not delve into my views of this debate, as the matter is being adjudicated in court.

The matter, however, that I will deal with, is how do we juxtapose our relationships within the SPYL in the back drop of an ostensibly anti progressive and anti youth party?

I have said elsewhere that SPYL continues to exist in form and character. Simply put, this means that interms of the  constiutional provisions of the SWAPO PARTY and its YOUTH LEAGUE. The expulsion of the former Secretary of the youth should not be interpreted either by the leadership of the party or the membership of the youth league as a suspension of The Organ. In the same vein the said expulsion of Dr Ngurare should not imply that the values, motives, political and developmental aspiration of the SPYL have been lost.

The organ which is the SPYL continues to exist legally and organically because the developmental, generational and political imperatives that necessitated its establishment continue to exist, even and despite of the ongoing debacle.

The consitution, policies and
resolutions of SPYL continue to be living instruments that must inspire our activism and aspirations as a generation. They do not belong to individuals but to the collective, some of which both predate us, and may very well outlive us

The objectives of genuine economic, empowerment, rural development, peri urban development, free education, quality healthcare, non racialism, the pusuit of a classless and equal society and the like, continue to be relevant. SPYL does not cease to exist nor does cease  to be a relevant interloctor to pursue them. The contrary would suggest that those who think otherwise were not rooted in why they became SPYL members in the first instance.

SPYL continues to live and must live as the balance of forces both within SWAPO and the broader namibian society require an energised and mobalised youth cohort to pursue not only our generational goals but those of a inherently  progresive society.

Historically the woman , proletariat, workers and youth of SWAPO have been the motive force that have contributed in aliance with one another, to the liberation and eventual transformation of our society. Nation building and transformation remain uncompleted task that every swapo member is obligated to pursue, irrespective of who has come and gone in the party. In the late 1990, the then secretary o SPYL Ignacious "Iggy" Shixwameni resigned from the SWAPO party and as a government minister ostensibly due to the fact that he found his personall and political ideals to be irreconcilable with those projected by the party and it's goverment. Despite his popularity SPYL grew from strength to strength, into the political behemoth it is today.  The reason for this was simply  that Shixwamnei was not the emodiment of SPYL. SPYL and SWAPO predated him and it will certainly outlive him.

I would also like to devote some time in adressing the notion that the SWAPO leadership is anti youth.

Many beleif so and say so every chance they get. What some youth call a anti youth leadership and what some elsders call a lost youth is simply the manifestation of a party that has failed to negotiate the perils of what is known as the generational gap.

Which risk continues to confront us and must be dealt with at the highest of policy levels. Branches of the generational gap debate include succesion and grooming strategies within the mother body of younger leaders, the absence of genuine and constructive  platforms for interactions on inner party life and discord between party policy and state level implementation of policy.

That the youth feel uninvolved and unappreciated in debates of this nature is a perception that must be managed and not simply ignored. It is no understatement to say that the continued mismanagement of the generatiomal gap by both the youth and the leadership, poses a  existentential threat to the party and its youth.

The African Union for example in recognizing the growing alientaion of the youth have created the a
African Youth Forum and organizes in partnership with UNECA a intergenrational dialogue between youth and Heads of State and Goverment every year. Similarly, the UN is reknowned for creating platforms where young, emerging and older leaders, discus the most pertinent challenges of our time.

Therefor, the symptoms emerging in our society, isnt proof that the leadership is anti youth or that young people are lost. Simply these symptoms are testimony of a society unable to mediate  generational perspectives.

Finally, in the near future, i wish to confront the question of how SPYL has historically positioned it self towards the Party. In other words, does the reaction of the youth league leadership to the Hage Presidency of the Party and State in the last few months compare to other stages of our history, are there parallels that can be drawn?  Till then, live and let live.

Reflections on kerry' speech in Davos...

No doubt Kerry delivered a very good speech  in Davos , I was transfixed listening to him speak about how American policy under Obama has changed the world for the better. Some parts of his speech invoked  cause for disagreement on matters such as Libya for example, but there were many salient and important aspects that I found interesting.

A few interesting observations....

His references to Africa were largely about corruption and malefeceance , unfortunate that this view of Africa stills taints American attitudes towards Africa. Alas,despite the hope and opportunity of emerging Africa,  a major speech like that would focus only on the failure to deal with boko haram due to corruption, malefeceance in burundi and so foth, indicative perhpas of American prejudices and obsession with anti terrorism and corruption. These are important topics certainly but not definative of the african narrative. Us-Africa relations need to deepen consesus around pivotal anchors in thieir relations . America cannot afford to look at Africa as a delinquent teenager that offers nothing but despair and disappointment , if they choose to do so, its only at their own peril.  

I agree with Kerry that in 2015, we have seen some amazing shifts in international politics. The thawed Cuban-American relationship is a terrific development which has been largely undervalued. For internationalist and progressives like myself,  it was terrific to see this detente in my lifetime. For a large part of my youth and student activism, Palestine,  Cuba , Myamar, East Timor and Western Sahara have occupied my mind as major international conflict areas  that needed redress. Today, all but Palestine and Western Sahara, remain unresolved.

That Obama has not only engaged Cuba constructively but has freed the Cuban 5,  is progress that must be acknowledged.  It can only be positive for humanity, that Cuba is once again in the fold of the international community without restriction.

Again on Iran, Kerry did well to justify the actions of the Obama administration in relations to the middle east. Firstly he was correct to emphasise the importance of broad international consesus in the resolution of international conflicts as happened in the conclusion of the Iranian nuclear disarmament deal. That all parties emerged as winners out for this deal has made the world safer kerry proclaimed. A nuclear free middle east is good for world peace,is a statement non of us can disagree with.  Except that, the middle east isn't nuclear free. Despite the difficulties of doing so Kerry and Obama must start a procces to ensure that Isreal doesn't continue to pusue a path of  aggressive zero sum zionism. Netanyahu's insolent and arrogant diplomacy isn't good for the middle east and isn't good for world peace. I remain  to be convinced that a nuclear Isreal in the hands of a ultra consecutive such as Netanyahu is not any different than a nuclear Iran.