Redline an inhumane, discriminatory – AR

Martin Endjala

THE Veterinary Cordon Fence generally known as the Redline does not belong in a liberated unitary state, as it limits movement of people, that is protected in the Namibian constitution.

This sentiment was expressed by the leader of the Affirmative Repositioning movement leader Job Amupanda and lawyer Kadhila Amoomo, who labeled the Redline as inhumane and discriminatory.

The two were speaking at a public discussion in Windhoek, as part of the ongoing legal battle to have the Redline declared unconstitutional.

“This redline is tantamount to violating human dignity and it perpetuates permanent damage to a person’s core”, said the fired up Amupanda.

The discussion was attended by a huge turnout of youth as well as farmers and politicians.

The engagement, AR said, is the first this year, in many such meetings planned.

“This redline cannot be allowed in a constitutional democratic country at all, “ says Amupanda while addressing the meeting.

The Redline case is currently ongoing in court and Amupanda, the applicant, is represented by Amoomo.

“ We are currently in engagements with the Government and Meat Board lawyers, “The process is at the moment at an engagement space,” says Amoomo.

He however, said that the Government is opposing the application, which prompted him to take on the fight for all Namibians after the Government hired big legal minds to defend it.

Amoomo said that they will be meeting the Ombudsman and the Minister of Justice on Tuesday.

The parties met last year in May and August, and on the 27th of January, and is expected to meet and again,

It was also revealed that the case will be heard by a full bench of judges, due to its complexity.

Amupanda stressed that he took it upon himself to challenge the Redline conundrum for the sake of the future generations, as it deprives Namibians from the northern part of the country from potential economic opportunities to trade in livestock with other parts of the country.

He questioned why only the southern part of Namibia should be given preferential treatment in a democratic country – “it is unlawful, unethical, and it is totally discriminatory”.

The north is classified as a hot zone area of Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) therefore anything coming from the northern part of the country it undergoes inspection and at times even people are subjected to these inspection standing on a mat for their belongings to be disinfected at the Oshivelo ‘’border post’’, Amoomo said.

He described this as “a violation of their rights, while it is clearly stipulated in the law that the dignity of all is inviolable”.

“Motor vehicles are stopped and all passengers have to disembark’’ to queue up ‘’just for your rights and dignity to be violated’’, Amoomo lamented.

Amumpanda challenged the Redline, after establishing that there is no provision for a redline in Namibian law, thus making it unconstitutional and therefore should be removed.

The president when campaigning declared that the Redline be removed, Amupanda stressed.

Redline is not only about livestock, he contended, saying it involves many products such as vegetables, fruits, cultural norms such as marriages (benefits are not the same as when married in the southern bcentral) and prices are also affected, ‘’but above all human equality Amoomo said that they have strong scientific evidence supporting their arguments, that is supported by a 2014 study that was undertaken by an independent European company, at the request of the Government, that concluded that Namibian Agriculture only contributes six percent to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) but showed that if the Redline is removed, the economy could benefit more than 20 percent.

The laws governing Meat Board laws do not provide for any Redline all, in fact, “they are supposed to promote the interest of the people, serve and preserve all livestock by ensuring equal trading, Act No1, of 2001 it is clearly stipulated “, said Amoomo.

The Regional Councilor of Otjinene Constituency in the Omaheke Region Erwin Katjizeu, echoed that the scrapping of the Redline is long overdue, “We are with you JOB, all the way”.

PDM MP Vipuakuje Muharukua, also shared sentiments on the issue, concurring that the suffering and pain his fellow Namibians are subjected to and who are deprived of the right to free trading in their own country.

“Why should we have people enjoying all the resources at the expense of others, it is unethical, and now the Government wants to keep this colonial regime redline that divides us all – as a MP and a farmer myself, I support the movement”.

The argument that the north cannot practice disease free farming, their delaying tactics in removing the redline, failure to give well-articulated facts for not scrapping it and not providing any time frame to gradually removing it will be challenged by his team, Amupanda said.

The primary purpose is to criminalise the north and brainwash the people that the economy will collapse, Amoomo said.

The AR will extend its engagements to traditional leaders and take the discussions to places such as Opuwo in the Kunene Region and Epukiro in the Omaheke, to get inputs from them.

Amupanda called on all Namibians to join the fight, ‘’not for your sake, but for your future children and generation, in order to affirm human dignity that will enable society to transform’’.

He re-emphasised that Namibians should first and foremost promote local consumption not always prefer meat exports to Europe.

‘’Take Ronaldo as an example, do you think he consumes a lot of beef, no, but my brother Kazapua consumes a whole rib, and if you offer him those tiny beef pieces, it’s an insult,’’ Amupanda remarked jokingly, while addressing the meeting.

Amupanda said his goal is to ‘’inspire a generation that will fight injustices, knowing and willingly of the consequences.’’

Those who can support the cause financially or through prayer are welcome to do.

‘’I implore you to come and be part of the fight, Amupanda proclaimed
.

By Observer