The First Line of Defence

Windhoek – The youth wings of liberation movements in Southern Africa have a key role to play in protecting their countries’ national interests and advancing economic empowerment, the Secretary of the SWAPO Party Youth League (SPYL), Dr Elijah Ngurare, has said.

He made the remarks in the SPYL’s congratulatory message to his ZANU-PF Youth League counterpart, Cde Absalom Sikhosana, and in an interview with The Southern Times, following the revolutionary party’s convincing victory in the July 31, 2013 general election.

ZANU-PF won a two-thirds majority in the National Assembly, while its leader President Robert Mugabe secured more than 61 percent of the vote in the Presidential contest.

Dr Ngurare noted that liberation movements still dominated politics in Southern Africa, but the youth must stand ever ready to advance the ideals of Pan-Africanism and nationalism that steered the fight against apartheid and colonialism.

Former liberation movements in office are SWAPO Party (Namibia), ANC (South Africa), FRELIMO (Mozambique), MPLA (Angola), ZANU-PF (Zimbabwe) and Chama Cha Mapinduzi (Tanzania).

However, they are increasingly grappling with internal pressures in their respective countries.

In this regard, Dr Ngurare told The Southern Times that youth wings have a major role to play to ensure their mother parties remain relevant and continue to influence the political environment in SADC and beyond.

“The practical lines of defence against imperialism by former liberation movements are their youth wings.

“Members and leaders of these youth wings are well-informed about global events. 

Therefore, they will advocate for youth empowerment policies because the population of youth is higher than elders.

“This, therefore, requires that elders must not unnecessarily antagonise their youth members. The real issues must be to address poverty, hunger, unemployment, corruption, tribalism, but not the egos or self-interest of elderly leaders per se.

“Equally, a realisation must be made that in each of those countries the resources must be equitably shared and all plans must benefit the people,” he said.

In his message to the ZANU-PF Youth League, Dr Ngurare said the July 31 election outcome denoted the commitment and patriotic dedication of Zimbabweans amid economic challenges stemming from sanctions imposed on them by the West.

“It is notable therefore that the outcome of the just-ended harmonised elections has affirmed conclusively and irrevocably the reality that the people of Zimbabwe have conducted peaceful and democratic elections in pursuance of their national interest and security.

“The land is yours; the country is yours; its destiny is fully in your hands as present Zimbabweans but more so in the interest of future generations of Zimbabweans,” said the SPYL secretary.

“The SWAPO Party Youth League wishes to avail of this historic opportunity to congratulate, through you Comrade Sikhosana, the militant, active, fearless and patriotic youth of Zimbabwe for their contribution to the victory of ZANU-PF.

“We are aware that the people and government of Zimbabwe have gone through all difficulties imaginable.

“The external and internal forces were sharpened against them. But you have triumphed collectively by mobilising the rural masses to vote overwhelmingly for ZANU-PF and President Robert Mugabe.”

Dr Ngurare stressed that the uncompromising spirit of Zimbabweans on land and empowerment had attracted the attentions of foreigners keen on effecting regime change by any means necessary, and the opposition Movement for Democratic Change was the window through which this objective was to be achieved.

“Ironically, all those British and American governments are conspicuously measured in their response and absent from aggressive comments on the undemocratic political acrobatics in Egypt.

“One wonders which democrats are these who are ephemeral and driven by racial and economic interest at the expense of human considerations.

“It is therefore heartening that despite all these clouds of challenges, the sun of hope is shining again in Zimbabwe.

“The sunrays are not confined in shining only in Zimbabwe; the entire Africa can see it and can feel it. Those who have been friends of Zimbabwe, during the day and during the night, can see it.

“It is pitiful that MDC was made to hold hostage the aspirations of the Zimbabweans for too long, even often hosted and glorified by some African governments,” he said.

Dr Ngurare assured ZANU-PF of the SPYL’s collective solidarity and support.

He said the SPYL had learned fundamental lessons from Zimbabwe, particularly that “the attainment of independence based purely on flag and anthem without full economic empowerment is not and will never be in the interest of the free Africans”.

“Those principles are never for sale and that the sovereignty of Zimbabwe like of any other African country must be sacrosanct.

“That never again should Zimbabwe be a colony of any other nation and that the birth right of any free nation is land and all the resources on its surface and below the earth must belong and be controlled by its inhabitants.”

August 2013
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