SWAPO has a big question to deal with, which is: Should President Hage Geingob be endorsed as the sole candidate for the Swapo presidency, as hinted by the 14 May Confidente report titled, ‘Geingob should not be contested – SPYL’?
Conventional wisdom will support the SPYL’s position. A president should be given enough time to carry forth the party/political agenda. For Namibia, President Geingob has laid down a clear political vision, the Harambee Prosperity Plan (HPP).
As good a vision for Namibia as it is, the HPP cannot be fully completed in a span of four years. Even though some areas are yielding results, it will require more time to tie up all the loose ends, to ensure the success of the programme.
Without question, it’s only logical for a political party in power to allow its president to lead the party, and its vision, for a two-term presidency. That is widespread practice across the world.
For Namibia, President Geingob deserves to complete his two-year term, should the electorate offer him that opportunity. His presidency should not be derailed or compromised by Swapo members. All Swapo members should support his candidacy for the Swapo presidency, and that of the country.
If anything, unity and continuity is what symbolise the Geingob candidacy. The Swapo Party should not be fighting against itself, to unseat the president. Those political wannabes for the party presidency must wait until Geingob has served his possible two terms in office.
Understandably, if the Geingob presidency was clouded with scandals, then it would have been a different story. As things stand today, Geingob has delivered and carried forth the Swapo manifesto into workable government policies. Nationally and internationally, the president has made many Namibians proud, by being a great statesman.
Therefore, it would be unwise for anyone within the ruling party, to sell the idea of a contested Swapo presidency. There is a steady hand in the presidential seat. Instead, the party must start planning on who will take on the leadership, when Geingob’s two terms has expired.
Certainly, that is why the Swapo Party must focus on the other three top positions – vice-president, secretary-general and deputy secretary general. Those that will emerge victorious are the ones that will carry forth the Swapo torch, when their time is ripe. Today is not their time, but they should be groomed into that eventuality.
The deemed infighting within Swapo must stop. It hampers progress and undermines the party leadership, at the expense of a nation. Former presidents, Dr Sam Nujoma and Hifikepunye Pohamba, should accord Geingob the same support that they received from the party structures. They served their presidential terms without party dramas, and so should it be for the Geingob presidency.
The fact is that no one dared to challenge Nujoma or Pohamba for the Swapo presidency. Now, why are some individuals entertaining the thought of a contested Swapo presidency? Did Geingob fail the people? Any objective observer will see the many successes of the Geingob presidency.
And for those claiming that President Geingob has started campaigning for the upcoming congress, they must understand that campaigns start way before there are officially sanctioned. For many Namibians, Agenda 2017 had been a political trademark in some quarters within the Swapo party for years now.
Meaning, while Geingob was assembling the government machinery and a vision for the country, some bitter and disgruntled elements within Swapo were intent on making the Geingob presidency sour – ungovernable. From day one, the bitter ones were attacking Geingob, left, right and centre – making people wonder if Namibia has a new opposition party.
Undoubtedly, those elements were already campaigning after the 2012 Swapo Congress. Now, where do claims of a level playing field come in? Those are deceptive tactics! It’s that bitter pill that will destroy Swapo and derail development.
All in all, Namibians should not be fooled. When a country has a president that has lived up to his promises, a nation must rally behind him, for fear of destroying a vision that must be nursed. For Namibia, Geingob is the right man for the top job.
*Mulife Muchali in Canada
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015