Rain amid landlessness

14 January 2021 | Opinion

The good rains received across the country in recent days have laid bare chronic failures of successive post-independence governments, and leadership in general, in our country.

As seen in viral videos and photos taken this week, many urban youths have been flushed out of the tiny apartments they are renting from land barons, who include politicians and policymakers.

In their desperate quest for a quick buck, many of these barons have built housing complexes in riverbeds and other vulnerable landscapes, capped by substandard engineering work.

The unsuspecting and desperate young people moved into these rented homes as their leaders continue to toy around with the urban land conundrum, perhaps so that they can keep the youth in rental bondage to the benefit of policymakers-cum-businesspersons.

From an agrarian point of view, while people like President Hage Geingob, who this week tweeted a video of himself ploughing at his farm, celebrate the good downpours, many Namibians are watching on helplessly as they own no land.

It’s easy to tell people to “work the land” and contribute to food security, but doing so has become a luxury reserved only for a handful of Namibians.

As long as we continue to convene lengthy land conferences with regurgitated speeches of how colonialism led to the current state of landlessness – without reversing the situation – the good rains will only continue to be a source of desire to ‘Netflix and chill’ among many young people, as is presently the case.

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