By Eliaser Ndeyanale
PRESIDENT Hage Geingob has called for a policy paper dealing with ‘inner Swapo-party matters’ saying it is appropriate for the party to discuss the strengthening of party platforms to air and resolve grievances.
Inner Swapo party fights have deepened recently with the expulsion of party youth leader, Elijah Ngurare, the youth wing’s Secretary of Information Job Amupanda and other ordinary members of the youth wing, George Kambala and Dimbulukeni Nauyoma before the High Court overruled their expulsion.
At the opening of the Swapo- Party Policy Conference on Monday, Geingob said, like other organisations, “We are bound to have disagreements from time to time. This is human nature.”
He said Swapo’s culture is that “while we may disagree internally through party structures, it is not our nature to disagree outside and through the press.
“I regret that there is no paper that is dealing with inner party matters. For instance I would have thought we would deal with the pressing issue of elections within Swapo and procedures for vetting of cadres. Currently we have experienced several situations in which cadres had been elected in their regions only to be removed after intervention from Swapo headquarters.
“Comrades, this is sending out a bad signal with regards to our inner party democracy. I am not saying that we should not vet cadres but let us put up criteria upfront rather than have headquarters take decisions that may potentially go against the wishes of our people,” he said.
He also denounced Swapo members who claim that the party has changed and it is no longer the party they used to know.
“For those I have the following to say; Swapo has not changed. The world has changed or perhaps, it is you who has changed, not Swapo. Swapo is here to stay, and it is here to stay for a very long time,” the President said.
He stressed that he can never subscribe to the propaganda that Swapo or Namibia in any way constitutes a sinking ship.
He said he is aware that there are those who are keen to give an impression that things are bad and he knows that it is a deliberate tactic to discredit Government and Swapo.
“Comrades, let us be cautious of allowing this negative narrative to take root as the ultimate intention is to negate the Swapo party as a collective.
“I am encouraged when I witness the constant rejuvenation of the Swapo party through our youth structures. This gives me confidence that the Swapo party is a party on the move. “At party level, the party has always reinvented itself by promoting young people. Swapo has always depended on the youth be it at political or military level. Some of us joined Swapo when we were 20-years-old before moving on to firmer positions in our political development”.
Geingob said that the party’s mission is not complete and, therefore, it shall never become static or atrophy. “Let us not forget that in our policy documents of 1976, we declared that the Government of a truly liberated Namibia will wage the struggle towards the abolition of all forms of exploitation of man by man and woman by woman and the destructive spirit of individualism, tribalism, nepotism, racism, sexism and aggrandizement of wealth and power by individuals, groups and classes.”
He also urged for more robust debate on the economy.
”I would like us to dispel the notion portrayed by our enemies that the country is being mismanaged, that it is bankrupt and on the verge of collapse. For example, when Fitch released its assessment of the Namibian economy, a perception was created that our rating was downgraded. That was never the case.”
About two months ago, Fitch revised Namibia’s economic outlook from stable to negative. Namibia’s high deficit, the projections of national debt growing above and beyond the accepted threshold, as well as the high likelihood of Government not being able to narrow the deficit in the coming financial years, are said to be the main reasons for the negative outlook.
Other reasons cited by Fitch for the weak economic growth was New Equitable Economic Empowerment Framework (NEEEF), which could slow down foreign investment in manufacturing and services.
Calling NEEEF a Swapo resolution, the President said, “Suggestions that I do not support NEEEF cannot be further from the truth. I merely questioned our approach on one aspect of NEEEF, namely the ownership pillar. I have also invited those who are against NEEEF to submit their proposals on how to address the income gap in Namibia. “The truth is that despite progress, Namibia remains one of the most unequal societies in the world. Let us therefore hold hands and see how best to reduce this and other divides in our society,” he said.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015