Research Articles (DPMPS)

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    Namibia’s First Lady Monica Geingos – Beyond the orthodox First Lady setting (2015-2020)
    (African Journal of Sociological and Psychological Studies, 2021) Amupanda, Job S.
    Postcolonial African First Ladies are an under-researched area not only in Political Science but also from a multidisciplinary perspective. This text responds to calls for further research in this area. In southern Africa, the work of van Wyk (2017) is pioneering and helpful in providing the framework of studying First Ladies in the region. This text furthers this debate by adding to the existing literature the case of Namibia’s third First Lady, Monica Geingos, the wife of the country’s third President, Hage Gottfried Geingob. The text submits that Monica Geingos’s First ladyship is one that goes beyond orthodox setting of First Ladies operating and seen as mothers of nations and caregivers concerned about ‘soft’ social issues. The text illustrates how Geingos’s meandering through political and economic contexts not only generated debates but demonstrates that the orthodox way of looking at and studying First Ladies may not be helpful.
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    The coronavirus and social justice in Namibia
    (Politikon, 2021) Marenga, Ralph V.; Amupanda, Job S.
    Over the past 30 years, the successive SWAPO regimes that governed Namibia always followed a neoliberal policy path. Co-existing with the neoliberal elites are thousands of Namibians living in squalors in a country that has been declared as one of the most unequal nations on the face of the earth. Over the years, social justice activists never gave up the fight for a just and equitable society. They fought for better shelter, housing, economic equality, land, water, and sanitation, free tertiary education, and income grants to cushion the poor. The successive SWAPO regimes have been indifferent. Interestingly, in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, the government ended up implementing the very initiatives it rejected over the years. This text explores several social justice struggles over the years and demonstrates how these were implemented by the government as a Covid-19 response in 2020. It thus argues that social justice is possible and the state has demonstrated its capacity in implementing these programs. It then calls on social justice activists to use the Covid-19 currency to ensure that social justice becomes central in a post-Covid-19 economic order.
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    Namibia’s 1999 Caprivi conflict and the consequences of a peacebuilding deficit – A first consideration
    (Otjivanda Presse. Bochum, 2020) Amupanda, Job S.; Du Pisani, Andre; Tyitende, Rui A.
    In August 1999, armed men belonging to the Caprivi Liberation Movement (CLM) launched an attack on government installations in Katima Mulilo, in an attempt to bring about the secession of the then Caprivi region (now Zambezi region) from Namibia. The Namibian Defence Force (NDF) and Namibian Police responded swiftly and contained the insurgency, leading to the arrest of more than 140 people while at least 14 individuals were killed. A state of emergency was declared during this first major internal conflict in independent Namibia. Namibia’s independence came as a result of an internationally supported and mediated conflict resolution that provided for peacemaking, peacekeeping and peacebuilding. Given the country’s experience with conflict resolution, one is fully justified in assuming that the post-independent state would be inclined to pursue conflict resolution and peacebuilding in relation to the 1999 event and its aftermath. Two decades after the conflict, the major intervention has been of a military nature. The Namibian State failed to engage in any form of meaningful peacebuilding. The secession sentiments remain and have since been acknowledged by key actors in the security system. This state of affairs can only mean that there is a possibility, that given the right context, the conflict may erupt sometime in the future, unless the State engages differently with local actors.
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    SWAPO’s 50/50 policy in Namibia’s national assembly (2015-2018): Full of sound and fury signifying nothing?
    (2019) Amupanda, Job S.; Thomas, Erika K.
    In 2013, Namibia’s ruling party, the South West Africa People’s Organisation (SWAPO), amended its constitution to implement the 50/50 gender policy. This policy required equal representation of men and women in all its leadership structures and in its representation in institutions such as the National Assembly. The party had been zigzagging on this policy it had adopted at its 2002 congress. Four years since the implementation of SWAPO’s 50/50, an analysis of the impact of this policy in the National Assembly paints a troubling picture. At the level of substance by looking at parliamentary motions tabled, we find that SWAPO’s 50/50 policy in the National Assembly – which resulted in increased number of women in the legislature - did not lead to meaningful agenda setting in favour of women political participation. This article reflects critically on the gender policy in the 6th parliament’s National Assembly, which is the principal law-making and policy-setting arm of parliament with a view to assess whether there have been successes in facilitating women empowerment and participation in a meaningful way.
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    The ascendency of Esther Utjiua Muinjangue to the NUDO presidency in Namibia: A challenge to patriarchy?
    (2019) Amupanda, Job S.
    There will be a female presidential candidate running for office in 2019 Namibian Presidential Elections. This has never happened in the 29 years of independence and was made possible by a small political party, the National Unity Democratic Organisation (NUDO) which elected Ester Esther Utjiua Muinjangue as its President –making her the first woman leader of a political party in Namibia. This text records and introduces this historic phenomenon in the literature on Namibian politics. It deals with the nature of NUDO and the circumstances that led to Muinjangue ascending to the party presidency. While accepting that history has been made, it cautions against ‘over-celebration’, for patriarchy has not disappeared merely because a woman has ascended to a position of power. The text concludes that Muinjangue occupies a moral and strategic position to mount a meaningful challenge to patriarchy and bring about meaningful political participation for women.
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    The African Union (AU), the African Youth Commission (AYC) and the Pan-African Youth Union (PYU): Sabotaging or bureaucratizing the youth?
    (2018) Amupanda, Job S.
    There now exists overwhelming evidence that many African states are gerontocracies - states wherein the leadership is way older than the average age of the population. Whereas these discussions were previously attributed to external observers of African politics, particularly observers from the western world, this question of and on African leadership has now gained domestic root. The youth of the continent has since started demanding their places at various decision-making tables within their nation states. This has led to generational antagonism of which some have led to youth-led uprisings. While there are several analyses at the state level, there has been little analysis of the relationship between the African Union (AU) and the youth of the continent. This text takes the analysis to the continental level. The text does not only concern a continental analysis, it’s most important contribution is to add new developments that have not appeared in much of the contemporary literature on African development. To buttress these perspectives, the text looks at the relationship between the AU and two continental youth organizations: the PYU (Pan-African Youth Union) and the AYC (African Youth Commission). It reveals that at the time of writing, Africa was the only continent without a recognized continental youth body. The text is aimed at provoking further questions and discussions on the AU’s youth discourse with this daring question: sabotaging or bureaucratizing youth?
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    Constitutionalism and principles of economic order. Examining Namibia’s ‘mixed economy’ and the economic asylum of neoliberalism
    (2017) Amupanda, Job S.
    While a number of studies exist on the causes and impact of the inequality, poverty and unemployment in which the majority of Namibians are trapped, very few, if any, of these studies examine the role and place of the constitution in maintaining the status quo. Most of the studies, even those on the constitution, do not focus on the question of political economy and how it relates to the constitution. A constitution can be understood as a set of fundamental laws determining the orientation (values and principles), structure and power of the state. To understand the economic system of a given state, one ought to start by studying the constitution. In Namibia the picture is not as clear as it should be. Theory and practice, on the question of political economy, do not gel. The text analyses the constitutional principle of ‘mixed economy’ with a view to understanding – and explaining – the triumph of neoliberalism in Namibia. It concludes that given the principle of ‘mixed economy’ is not clearly defined – an unsound principle according to this text – there is a need to re-examine the constitution of the Republic of Namibia to address the question of political economy.
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    Denk Xiaoping and the Chinese developmental state: Lessons for Namibia
    (2016) Amupanda, Job S.
    At the centre of China's radical economic, social and technological transformation was the statesman Deng Xiaoping. Africa-China relations generally date back to the days of African struggles against colonialism and apartheid with some scholars tracing even earlier contacts between Chinese and Africans. The relations continued after independence and institutionalised into platforms such as Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC). Despite the historical ties and platforms such as FOCAC, many African countries failed to emulate China's successful trajectory from a colony to a successful developmental state and world economic powerhouse. Although having historical and presently good relations with China, Namibia failed to use its relations with China to propel the country to economic greatness. Namibia not only has high levels of poverty, unemployment and inequality, the country has one of the highest records of economic inequality in the whole world. This article provides a descriptive account of the Chinese developmental state and draws possible lessons for Namibia to emulate.
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    Who is in the ‘‘We’’? interrogating the African Union’s Agenda 2063 and youth political participation
    (2018) Amupanda, Job S.
    Most analyses of the African Union (AU) have focused on the politics of the state and the presidents. There are very few analyses that have focused on aspects such as youth development. The point of departure for this article therefore, is youth development. I argue that although the youth were always part of important historical developments in Africa, they remain on the periphery. In recent times, particularly since the transformation of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) into the AU in the 2000s, the youth development agenda has begun to receive the attention at policy level. In 2015 the AU, through Agenda 2063 went a step further by including youth development into mainstream continental policy frameworks. While we welcome all these developments it has emerged that the continent remains hesitant in the area of youth development. Where the AU and its member states have adopted the discourse of youth inclusion—in cases where youth political participation is often limited, such efforts are not met with fitting institutional and practical policy arrangements. The article posits that the African elite is in for a rude awakening as we have witnessed—since 2011—given the discovery by the African youth of new methods of political participation in post-colonial Africa. The article advocates for the adoption of the African community outlook to youth state policy, argues for the youth to be linked to the project of economic freedom, and implores the African elite to embark on the decolonial project to resolve the bearing coloniality of being, power and knowledge.
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    Pre-colonial and postcolonial identity formations in Namibia: An exploration of the origin of Nehale lyaMpingana’s dualism
    (2018) Amupanda, Job S.
    Nehale lyaMpingana is not only one of the best-known historical figures in Aandonga history, he is one of the most celebrated figures in the history of anti-colonialism in Namibia. Despite being such a well-known historical figure, there is still some confusion as to his identity. He is often referred to as a ‘King’ and/or ‘Chief’ on the one hand, and ‘warrior’ on the other. This confusion has prevailed not only amongst ordinary people but is also to be found in state institutions and academic historical writings. This article explores the origin of lyaMpingana’s dual identity by looking at identity formation in pre-colonial and post-colonial Namibia. In precolonial and colonial Namibia Nehale lyaMpingana was simply known as a member of the Aakwanekamba family, the Ondonga royal family, and as a fearless warrior who fought against the colonial forces. In post-colonial Namibia, the state, and its principal officials such as the President, used their constitutional powers and relevant laws to bestow upon Nehale lyaMpingana the titles of ‘King’ or ‘Chief’. The evidence, particularly from the Aandonga customs, shows that Nehale lyaMpingana was never a ‘King’ or ‘Chief’ of the Aandonga. The article further demonstrates the state’s monopoly on national identity formation in post-independence Namibia, sometimes to the exclusion and suppression of indigenous communities’ positions and customs.