Platinumb

Patrick Bond pbond at SPAMwn.apc.org
Wed Aug 4 02:00:31 MDT 1999



> From:          "ulhas joglekar" <ulhasj at bom4.vsnl.net.in>
> It would be interesting to know if a different economic strategy for
> Southern Africa
> (different from dutch-disease, as Patrick calls it) has been elaborated by
> newly emerging
> workers and other progressive formations in Zimbabwe or Namibia.

No, that's the stuff of ideological struggle over coming months. I
have a Monthly Review article in the May 1999 issue about Zimbabwe;
for Namibia, the following may help:

From:             "sean" <sean at idasact.org.za>
Copies to:        <debate at sunsite.wits.ac.za>
Subject:          Re: CoD in Namibia
Date sent:        Tue, 3 Aug 1999 11:12:07 +0200

Russell,
To your query on the Congress of Democrats (CoD), a friend who is a
leading member/activist and works as an economist in SA send me this:

"Yes, the Congress of Democrats (CoD) is definetely the first serious
challenge to Swapo, and is likely not only to significantly reduce
Swapo's majority support in the next elections scheduled for the end
of this year, but also to be the first real opposition in Namibia. CoD
support base is mainly from the former Swapo activists who were not in
exile and those that were detained by Swapo allegedly of being spies-
an issue that is becoming serious in Namibia since Swapo has refused
to pronounce itself clearly on it. It also seems, judjing from the
congress delegates and the new leadership structure of the CoD, that
the majority of SWANU members, another political organisation which
was fighting for national independence but mainly invloving
Herero-speaking people, are finding home within the CoD. In fact the
leaders of the country's three student organisations are CoD
activists, and some of the unions affiliated to a national union of
namibian workers (NUNW) which is in turn affiliated to Swapo, are
turning to the CoD (mainly the national teachers' union and the mine
workers union which Ben Ulenga (CoD President) was for many years a
Secretary General. It is evident that many Namibians, particularly
students, professionals and civil servants are becoming disillusioned
with the ruling party, although a culture of fear still persists. The
third term for Nuyoma, the war in the DRC, and the increasing level of
corruption that came with the party's two thirds majority in the last
elections, have become topical issues in national debate. So, in my
opinion, CoD will significantly make inroads among the traditional
Swapo areas such as the northern regions, kavango and caprivi, judjing
by its national leadership composition. The Caprivi issue is very
clear. Since the 1960s there has been efforts to seccede the territory
from Namibia by prominent political leaders in the area such as
Muyongo. What prevented this is the fact that Swapo co-opted Muyongo
as Vice-President of Swapo with the understanding that they agree not
to pursue their seccessionist agenda. Muyongo left Swapo in exile, and
returned home following an internal rift within Swapo in exile that
left some of its leaders either detained, disappearing or returning
home. Those who returned, including Muyongo, were used by South Africa
in its fight aganist national independence. Muyongo ended up in the
DTA - and later until a year ago, a leader of the official opposition
in parliament. He was removed from this position, and found himself
without any significance. He, then decided to incite for the
independence of Caprivi, and has been instrumental in the formation of
what is known as the Caprivi Liberation Front - a rebel group. Their
activities were spotted by the authorities, and as a result most of
them fled to Botswana. Muyongo lives in Denmark. But, a month ago most
of his followers were repatriated back to the caprivi, and over the
last weekend they launched their rebel offensive. It is generally
believed that they are collaborating with another group in southern
Zambia, which also has seccessionist agenda. Nuyoma has now declared a
state of emergency and the situation seems to have returned to normal
despite some casualties. It is clear that many residents in the
Caprivi do not really support secession. However, the situation is
made worse by the fact that since independence there is a perception
that Swapo has neglected the area since it has been on the opposition
side. Now, the rebels are exploiting the sentiments of the ordinary
people there that if they are independent life will be better sicne
they will not need to share a cake with the rest of the other ethnic
groups in Namibia. CoD has made strong inroads in the Caprivi, and
analysts were suggesting that it was likely to receive majority
support in the forthcoming elections in the area. CoD's policies
emphasises local and regional development, and is strong on good
governance and decentralisation. Such an approach is both a threat to
the rebel movement and the ruling party. Hence, it is likely that the
recent events in the area is a response by the rebels against the
growing support CoD is receiving as this will undermine their
secessionist agenda."
Sean Jacobs
IDASA, 6 Spin Street, Cape Town, South Africa, 8001
Tel:  +27-21-461 2559 Fax: +27-21-4612589
E-mail: sean at idasact.org.za












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