A lack of national and political leadership on the land question, failed diplomacy, the Khorixas Declaration, a carefully-laid out media plan, Erf 2014, expulsion from party, court victory as well as ‘a new parliament must fall’ are but some of the rhetoric and oratory forming the narrative of what is now known as the Affirmative Repositioning (AR) movement.
Since their crafting after November 9, 2014 dominated debates, discussions and decisions at various levels of the Namibian society, from small talks at dinner tables to conference halls at State House, they still continue to do so until this day.
The events of that bright Sunday morning helped set the stage for a national dialogue and debate on land and housing in the country.
A number of correspondences would take place to and from Swapo, the municipalities and town councils, the capitalists and neoliberals, as well as the youth, poor and landless Namibians.
A so-called Khorixas Declaration emerges in which then members of the Swapo Party resolved that the culture of providing water and other refreshments to the VIP tents only, while the masses sit without nothing at party rallies and meetings, should come to an end.
These are the accounts that form the crust of the historiography book authored by activists Job Amupanda, Dimbulukeni Nauyoma and George Kambala – whose launch was graced and officiated by liberation stalwart Mburumba Kerina.
The book reveals the support base the movement enjoys as depicted in the opening acknowledgement line: “To all homeless-landless Namibians and activists, supporters and sympathisers of the AR movement on planet earth.”
Biographies of Amupanda, Nauyoma and Kambala bearing much account of their childhood memories are what dominate the preface of the book titled ‘Affirmative Repositioning Awakening a Generation’.
“… It is very important that one understands our values and belief systems that informed the actions leading to the events necessitating this historiography,” it reads in some parts of the preface.
“It is the premise of this historiography that knowledge of self is a pre-requisite for confidence of self. Had it not been for the knowledge and confidence of self, AR would probably not have been found and as a consequence you would not have this book.”
The introduction deals mainly with putting to bed perceptions around the formula of the AR, while giving birth to a re-engineered image based on a desire to be the first to genuinely address pertinent problems bordering around the dignity of every Namibian citizen.
According to the book, it is widely acknowledged, particularly by serious observers, that there has been no movement, let alone a youth one, that has constantly captivated public discourse the same way AR has done.
The trio also reveal in the book that there are those, due to the nature of their jobs and trades, who are unable to publicly and openly support AR but do so in private conversations, while urging them not to continue their activism.
These do so suggestively, on their behalf and that of their yet-to-be born descendants.
The book further details the events leading to the trio grabbing land in Kleine Kuppe, one of Windhoek’s affluent suburbs and the backlash or aftermath felt since then, especially from Swapo leaders.
It also contains correspondences between the AR and Geingob, the AR Housing Charter, as well as a court order instructing Swapo to reinstate the membership of the trio, including that of former Swapo Party Youth League secretary Elijah Ngurare.