“THERE are [individuals] who’d like [this administration] to be an element in their story about a failed state. It is not in our interest to support those kinds of stories that are not true.” (Henrik Selin, edited)
We are called upon to assess the type of leadership Swapo and Namibia needs at this critical juncture. The happenings in Swapo are of national concern to us all, whatever our affiliation to the said party. It is a concern due to the fact that Swapo is the ruling party and depending on how it engineers its path at the moment will continue to dominate the political sphere for some time.
Some candidates have already expressed their interest in various positions, and once all have decided to come out of the cocoon the author will not hesitate to study the various candidates’ strength and weaknesses.
At this juncture we need the rank and file of the ruling party to realise that the country needs a structured approach at identifying leadership from all corners of the country, and different school of thoughts. Swapo needs unifiers and candidates that will be acceptable to the greater populace of the country. It needs to balance the selection of leadership taking into cognizance that the party had two distinct sides before independence, the exile and the internal leadership. Whatever our subjective opinion both these groups played an equal and important role in the fight against colonialism.
We therefore need the exiles to realise that the emergence of useful and capable leaders from the pre-independence internal Swapo in strategic and important positions of Swapo and eventually in government. It is further imperative to realise that we have the elders, youth and women as distinct groups on their own. The party needs to strike a balance between all these groups. It is the duty of the elders to start to groom the youth who display a liking for the objectives and aims of the party and the country’s interest. We cannot leave the selection of the leaders to nature or a robotic process. We need to influence the type of leaders that will be selected at congress, as everything in life need guidance.
We need leaders who believe that when the communion is happy, affluent, the self within that greater community becomes happy, affluent and safe. That is leadership that rejects the notion of using the other self as means, but rather as an end.
Now that we have the agreement that the sitting president will have to ascend to the position of Swapo presidency unopposed, as happened in the past and elsewhere, it is my humble opinion that the president as the leader of Swapo should ensure that he is surrounded by competent citizens who will be able to articulate the aspirations of the president at this particular time. This president came as a result of the desire of the greater populace acknowledging our diversity and importance to one another, besides his own qualities.
The founding president had Moses Garoeb on the political front, Hidipo Hamutenya on taking the entire blame front, the current president on the administrative front, TB Gurirab on the international stage, and Ponhele Ya France quenching the thirst of the militants and the revolutionaries. President H. Pohamba had the Nahas Angulas on taking the entire blame front, and Jerry Ekandjo keepign the masses properly mobilised and contained at the political level.
The current administration has no cadres in strategic positions. If the sitting president is to succeed, which he should, then we ought to realise that we need people, whatever their stance on an issue or our differences yesterday, who would prefer to work for the collective rather themselves. Those who will be able to know and understand that any nation at any given time, needs to pull towards the same destiny.
We need leaders in strategic positions of Swapo who will fight tooth and nail to erase the current society of two extremes, one from garbage heaps in the remote areas and the other in affluent suburbs of our cities.
Swapo is called upon to get back to basics. The President alone cannot run this country, and thus he needs progressive nationals, which nationals should be a blend of what Gramsci calls organic and traditional intellectuals. There is a need for Swapo to get back to the collective leadership of unity and discipline. This can be achieved by electing leaders of a high sense of service to the country. Leaders who will understand that if the President is to fail or falter the whole party will fail or falter. We need active leaders rather than passive and critical leaders to the president. The president needs the team that the founding president had, a team ready to confront the ills of our society as a collective.
Joshua Razikua Kaumbi is a
holder of BA Political Science
(UNAM), LLB (STELL) and a
practising admitted attorney.
Opinions expressed in his capacity
as a Namibian by birth.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015