“GAPS unrecognised cannot be evaluated, and gaps unevaluated cannot be eliminated,” writes respected author, Dr John Tibane.
I am convinced, that history is the best judge, whose verdict cannot be ignored.
Equally, I am a believer that oshiili ihayiholama (truth never hides).
Swapo has since its establishment on 19 April 1960, to date, been a mass-based political movement and was founded on the principles of democracy, solidarity, freedom, social justice and progress. It is governed, by among others, inbuilt discipline, shared collective responsibility and shared values.
The Cambridge Advanced Dictionary defines ‘mass’ as “a large amount”.
In the context of Swapo, this large amount refers historically to the support it had during the years of the Ovamboland People’s Congress (OPC) and the Ovamboland People’s Organisation (OPO), and to when it became known as the mighty South West Africa People’s Organisation (Swapo) of Namibia.
We commend all the founding fathers and mothers, for their strategic role in the transformation of Swapo, from its initial stage, to where it is today. Among them are, comrades Andimba Toivo ya Toivo, Dr Sam Shafiishuna Nujoma, Brendan Kangongolo Simbwaye, Vernent Maswahu, Dr Hifikepunye Pohamba, Dr Hage G. Geingob, Hendrick Witbooi, David Meroro, Hambrosius Haingura, Jaako Kangayi, Eliaser Tuhadeleni, Gerson Veii, Libertine Amadhila, Putuse Meekulu Apollus, Tate Katjioungwa, Nahas Angula, Theo-Ben Gurirab and Nathaniel Maxuilili, just to mention a few.
Before 21 March 1990, this country used to be called South West Africa. The name Namibia was classified as having a terrorist connotation, during the liberation struggle. Many sons and daughters were convicted and sentenced to hard-labour imprisonment, while others who were known to be Swapo supporters were persecuted and forced into exile. Swapo’s undeniable political, diplomatic and armed liberation struggle victory, which culminated in the proclamation of Namibia’s independence on 21 March 1990, was the most joyful event in the lives of all Namibians.
The wave of political patriotism, nationalism, bravery and heroism was seen, felt, smelt, and indeed, heard throughout the length and breadth of the Land of the Brave.
Their blood, sweat and tears waters our freedom. That illustrious night when the Namibian flag was unfurled, against the backdrop of thousands of lights, ushering in an era of freedom and peace, gave us the conviction that our compatriots’ blood, lives, sweat and tears were not lost in vain. Why blood and lives? We knew through Ya Toivo famous prediction that the struggle would be long and bitter, and that we would cross rivers of blood, to achieve our national independence.
This is also symbolised by our national flag.
We know that the blue colour represents the minerals and the wealth of Namibia, as well as her long Atlantic coast, which is rich in minerals and other resources.
The red colour represents the precious blood of the Namibian people, which was shed during the protracted liberation struggle against colonialism – during the struggle for nationhood, in general, and the victorious anti-colonialism revolution in Africa, in particular.
The green colour represents the people, the land, the agricultural potential and the vegetation of the country. Our motto has been, and remains, ‘Solidarity, freedom and justice’.
The fact remains that the minerals of Namibia, the rivers of blood, and the land, its agricultural potential and the vegetation of this beautiful country, belong to all of us, as Namibian citizens. And hence, the clarion call for the heroes and heroines of the Land of the Brave, to liberate our God-given natural resources, through democratic means.
The second battle for economic emancipation is an ideological and socio-economic one, which requires collective accountability and critical analysis of regional and international economic clusters. Hence, all Swapo Party members need to critically take stock to identify what Dr John Tibane refers to as, “prominent emotional, spiritual, social, attitudinal, skills, academic, financial and other gaps”.
Doing so, comrades, will certainly takes us closer to unleashing our potential.
The battle for the liberation of our natural resources, from the hands of a few, into the hands of the majority, disadvantaged community, is going to be more bitter than that of the liberation struggle for political independence.
The message is, and remains, loud and clear, according to Swapo President and PLAN Commander-in-Chief, Comrade Sam Shafiishuna Nujoma, “We are, and will always remain indebted, to those gallant sons and daughters of Namibia, who paid with their lives, so that our nation could regain its dignity, peace and democratic liberties.”
Hence, the party’s core aims and objectives, among others, include to, “instil in the Namibian people a spirit of patriotism, and to develop in them the consciousness that they are the masters of their own destiny”.
Its aims include to “fight underdevelopment, poverty, illiteracy and disease, promote accelerated economic development, and to create a balance and interlinkages between the primary and the secondary sectors of our economy, in order to promote self-reliance and to improve the standard of the living of vast majority of the Namibian people”.
The Swapo Party was 57 on Wednesday, 19 April! Viva Swapo! We commend the founders for providing a unified leadership, to date.
Many lives were lost, in prisons and in the bush war in Namibia, and in the neighbouring Frontline States.
Many comrades gave their lives, while others were scarred on the battlefield.
We have now entered a propaganda war for economic emancipation, a war which, if not inclusively fought, can divide the nation into tribal groupings; thus legitimating the gaps between rich and the poor communities.
To ensure a shared, inclusive victory and prosperity for all, we should all embrace the Swapo government’s Harambee Prosperity Plan, as the vehicle through which we can navigate our battle for socio-economic emancipation, towards our chosen national socio-economic destiny.
Hence, the party wings remain our reliable navigators and hopefully, they will mutually act with dedication and shared commitment, by blessing the Harambee Prosperity Plan, in the interests of the party and national interest of Namibia. Have a joyful Swapo party birthday. Long live the Swapo Party!
Their blood waters our freedom!
*Nkrumah Mushelenga is a former Commissioner for Refugees and Namibia National Liberation Veterans Association (NNLVA) National Coordinator
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015