Despite their best efforts to smile and hide their frustration, many of us would have noticed the exhaustion and despair in the eyes of the super-exploited cashiers that serve us in the supermarkets.

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In 2018, Shoprite sued 93 of its workers for taking strike action over low wages. Photo The Namibian

The workers’ despair generally stems from their poor working conditions and is one of the reasons why the decision by the workers of Shoprite, Checkers and U-Save to embark on strike action for better wages and improved working conditions should be supported by the wider community.

The rise of Covid19 in 2020 has shown beyond doubt that these underpaid and undervalued workers are in fact essential to the survival of society. …

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At the end of 2020, it should be obvious to anyone with a functioning brain that something is not right in the world — to put it mildly. Indeed, anyone even slightly familiar with the facts will be aware that something is very wrong with the world we live in and the way things are going.

For one thing, there is so much to be done, and yet so many of people are jobless. The world produces so much wealth, but the more we produce the poorer we ourselves become. One person owns more wealth than half the world population…

‘Swakopmund son of the soil, journalist and activist Jade McClune recently announced his entry into Namibian politics after he was nominated as one of the Landless People’s Movement’s candidates to run for a seat on the Swakopmund Municipal Council,’ writes Adam Hartmann in The Namibian today.

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Below is a transcript of the full interview with Adam Hartman of The Namibian on 26 October.

You recently announced your entry into Namibian politics and your candidacy for LPM. Is this correct? What led to this decision?

Yes, I was nominated by Swakopmund LPM to stand as a candidate and after the vetting process to check my qualifications and background, the party confirmed me as an eligible candidate. As a journalist I’ve been covering…

Key issues in Namibia’s 2020 municipal elections — Part 1

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A man walks past burning shacks at Twaloloka in Walvis Bay, where over 100 makeshift places of shelter went up in flames in mid July.

The recent fire that ripped through Twaloloka in Walvis Bay — in which a one-year old boy lost his life in mid-July while over a 100 homes were destroyed — was only one of many gruesome examples of a humanitarian crisis that plagues this country. And it is rooted in landlessness.

The following Sunday, at the DRC in Swakopmund two children and their mother also perished in the flames that incinerated their shack. They were among a vast number of shack fire victims over the last two decades, whose names rarely make it into the news.

Addressing the housing crisis…

Part 2 — Key issues in Namibia’s 2020 municipal elections

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No person who is willing and able to work should be jobless at this time. By that same measure, no person should be landless in their motherland. Tackling these two inter-related problems must be at the core of our political program heading into the 2020 elections.

The Right to Work should be key theme and main topic of our community campaign in the run-up to the 2020 municipal election, for how can we have the majority of people sitting around unemployed while we are running short on all basic supplies, including essential food supplies?

If we are serious about social…

Representatives of various community groups and political organisations gathered in the DRC to the north of Swakopmund on Friday to hand over a petition to the governor of Erongo region to demand that the government begin to supply fish parcels to all households affected by the lockdown restrictions and the consequent economic fallout of the state of emergency.

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Jade McClune (right) addresses delegates from the Landless People’s Movement, Affirmative Repositioning, and members of Swakopmund Concerned group n the DRC on Friday in support of the Fish for All campaign. Photo: Contributed

Stefanus Iyambo of the Affirmative Repositioning group, which collected food donations to give to needy families and those left destitute by recent fire incidents, said they were disappointed that the new governor, Neville Andre, did not even respond to their invitation to come and receive the petition.

Michael Rooi of the Landless People’s Movement said the government should realise that all communities were affected by the lockdown restrictions and face an urgent hunger crisis.

Rooi said LPM had offered suggestions to mitigate the crisis, “which fell on deaf ears”, and urged the authorities to redirect funds earmarked for bailing out…

Over the past few months we’ve watched with shock and awe as the economy continued to crumble and collapse on all sides. While official statistics have been hard to come by, it is clear that thousands of jobs were lost and many businesses went under.

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A small boy searches for something to eat among discarded rotten tomatoes. Photo: The Namibian

In the face of the unprecedented economic crisis brought on by the lockdown and state of emergency implemented in response to the threat of Covid-19, many private sector companies soon opted to retrench their workers in vast numbers to ward off the threat of bankruptcy.

Following four years of economic decline, the coronavirus pandemic has struck lethal blows to the capitalist economy, disrupting production, trade, travel and distribution, wreaking havoc on global supply chains.

In the absence of a viable vaccine for the deadly new strain of coronavirus, it will not be possible to reboot the economy, for every attempt…

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Former justice minister Sacky Shanghala sates his thirst during a 2019 interview with Al Jazeera as the reporter presents him with evidence of questionable funds transferred to him.

Besides the damage to the fishing industry and marine life, let’s look at how the wider Namibian economy and society were affected and infected by the #fishrot fraud and bribery operation.

1. The banking and financial system was central to the entire operation, as none of the transactions could be effected without the compliance and or connivance of the bankers and major asset management companies.

2. Estate agencies and property developers helped funnel vast amounts of illicit funds into the local and overseas property market, where it could be hidden, among others, in housing and major construction projects, thus also…

We need better Youth Support Services

In a series of short articles I will try to set out my priorities for the upcoming election. I want to start firstly by outlining some practical measures that I believe can benefit the most vulnerable and under-represented group in our community, the child-residents.

My over-arching ambition is to ensure that Swakopmund becomes a city that is organised for the protection and welfare of all children. We must aim to make our city a place that is not only safe and conducive for children’s well-being and happiness, but that is specifically designed for that purpose.

The Children’s Charter

If elected to lead the…

In the latest fallout from the bribes-for-quotas scandal that has rocked the local fishing industry to the core, Namibia’s former justice minister Sacky Shanghala and deposed Fishcor chairman James Hatuikilipi are due back in court on Monday.

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Al Jazeera Investigations found that Sisa Namandje’s law firm was used a conduit for illicit payments.

Ahead of the release of Al Jazeera’s exposé on corruption in the fishing industry, former fisheries minister Bernhard Esau (61), Shanghala (42), James (44), Esau’s son-in-law Tamson Hatuikulipi (38), as well as Ricardo Gustavo (44) and Pius ‘Taxa’ Mwatelulo (31) were arrested last week.

Two of the six suspects — said to be key players in the multi-billion dollar bribery and tax evasion scam exposed by Wikileaks a fortnight ago — Sacky and James were arrested shortly after their return from Cape Town last Tuesday and charged with corruption, money laundering and tax evasion.

Jade Lennon

Writer, reporter, activist

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