By Joshua Razikua Kaumbi
I have read the comment by senior editor Asser Ntinda, in which he deliberately starts in the middle, instead of the beginning.
The senior editor is indeed not spotlessly clean, as he belittled and dressed down national leaders and renamed all and sundry and even launched a barrage of attacks against the very same people in whose newspaper he published the missive.
I shall not use derogatory words and terms against him, as we are all entitled to divergent views and our own opinions. That, however, does not enjoin us to remain silent, when facts are wrong, as this would set a bad precedent in a country of people who can read and have lived through difficult times. That said, the sitting president, Dr Hage Geingob, never said that he does not want to be challenged. In fact, I imagine he would want to match his vision for the party and the country against any challenger. But those who have followed our nation’s politics since independence will agree that a process whereby a sitting president of the republic is challenged for the presidency of Swapo is unknown, hitherto. Even if he did want to be challenged, there will be nothing wrong with such a move. In 2011, we requested the politburo of the central committee of Swapo to provide us with guided democratic principles, as we neared the 2012 Swapo Congress and beyond. Have the political dynamics changed, to have even the proponents of this view discard it like scum in the night? I posit that the political dynamics of our beautiful and righteous country have not changed at all, in that manner. Comparisons are often made of a precedent where the current president contested for the leadership of the party with the late Kaptein Hendrik Witbooi. However, that contest was for the position of vice-president, and not president.
Two centres of power would not work, nor will a different president of Swapo lead to the recall of the sitting president. We can all read. The argument is that a situation where the congress, central committee and politburo will be chaired by one person, and the country by another, will lead to two centres of power, as these two individuals will push for power and influence, as long as Swapo is the ruling party. The nefarious citizens furthering this argument want the immediate creation of two centres of power within the country, and to perhaps curtail any opportunity the sitting president seeks to push for the realisation of his vision for the country, and uphold his stewardship for the next generation of leaders. These divisionary tactics we cannot allow, period!
We have the right to be informed as to the person who can do better than the sitting president, in terms of his or her qualifications for office, and the vision they have set forth for the party and the country. Prove us wrong with a comparative analysis and facts, and not a distortion of what transpired in the dark annals of history, unbeknownst to the public, who elected him into office. The author wants us to believe that those who apparently handed the sitting president his victory have left, without telling us who they are, and how they engineered this victory as individuals. The economy is indeed doing badly, but no one is telling us how the sitting president, since ascending to power, is responsible for creating the said economic malaise. Those advancing any argument in support of the sitting president also have no alternative to Swapo and want a healthy Swapo, and Namibia. The president never referred to himself as being spotlessly clean, and is on record as having admitted his fallibility. The president cannot stoop low to answer to vague and embarrassing allegations that are not specific in nature. The cardinal basis of our law is that he, who alleges, should prove.
Issues we are grappling with can only be solved through unity and the proper application of minds. All groups, strata and tribes should unite against the common enemy. We are alive to the fact that when we were tribes we were prey to conquerors, until the time when we became a united people. There is also no precedent where the youth united against the elders, or vice versa, and won. We have often used Frantz Fanon’s famous saying that, “each generation must, out of relative obscurity, discover its mission, fulfil it, or betray it”, but then launch broadside insurrections, against the very institutions being held in trust for future generations.
Division and silence is not an option. We should all stand up in defence of the rule of law, and allow the electorate to remove the president, when he betrays their trust, as they elected him overwhelmingly for his vision for our country. Many people were instrumental in securing victory for the president, most notably Founding President, Dr Sam Nujoma and former President Hifikepunye Pohamba, Kazenambo Kazenambo, et al, before we all joined, and their contributions are equally important in securing the mandate to carry the mantle of the liberation of our people from abject poverty and despair, against the backdrop of fierce resistance from those who felt entitled to assume our country’s highest office. There is a myth being perpetrated about the making of the president, as if he was a political neophyte, an unknown quantity, who needed ‘kingmakers’ to ascend to the highest echelon of public service. We forget about the great tradition of the collective, pecking order and predictability within SWAPO.
These nefarious individuals appear to advocate for the immediate creation of two centres of power within the country.
Namibia, as the collective matters more, especially more so in the absence of a reason for an alternative, in the middle of presidential term. Swapo always had challenges and camps, and to argue that the same emerged during the time of the sitting president is neither here nor there.
Each person’s right is as important as the next, from the fellow from Zambezi, to the person who hails from the perennial river of the Kavango, which is home to both human and man-eating crocodile.
Each person’s right must be acknowledged, even if they are from the flat plains of the North, which like my area of birth contains the same hardy and resilient Omutati tree, and even if they live in the South, where humans learned to grow equal to the trees, in order to best exploit nature.
Each person’s right must be acknowledged, even if they are from the Kalahari or the Kunene, where they remind us of our past and the path we need to take.
We all need to work together, to ensure that our people, wherever they are, can live or die decently. Our legacy can best be preserved through unity of purpose. The one is merely an extension of the other, for we are all each other’s keeper.
No amount of name-calling should let us throw away this project called Namibia. If we all were Swapo, as we claim today, the struggle would not have been that bitter and longer. No one is praise singing the president, but defending the constitution, the institution of the presidency and our way of life. The only favour we seek is for him to bequeath a stable and prosperous country, where we build bridges for all, and to hand the relay button over to the next person. Namibia is the only investment we have.
Challenging this president for the position of the Swapo president is being disrespectful and an irritation of the skin, senior editor. We should not tell lies and claim false victory.
God bless us all. Signing out, for others to sign in…
*Opinions expressed by Joshua Razikua Kaumbi in this column are in his capacity as a Namibian by birth, and not choice
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