SWAPO factions are increasingly throwing their weight behind their preferred candidates, ahead of the ruling party’s elective congress.
However, these declarations have come from individuals, and those who have been named as potential president, vice-president and secretary-general candidates have consistently told the media to “wait and see” or simply refuse to comment.
This may be due to them continuing to test the waters, ahead of their campaign launches, or it may also simply be a case of choosing to lurk in the shadows, as they are being backed by forces whose agendas are questionable, to say the least.
For example, it will be difficult to shake off the growing perception that those who are clamouring for a challenger to emerge, who will stand against President Hage Geingob, are being driven by narrow business interests and their anticipated eager return of their snouts to the State tender feeding trough.
Last week, there were declarations of support for Jerry Ekandjo as a potential challenger to Geingob, while Pendukeni Iivula-Ithana has been named as possible candidate for Swapo vice-presidency. There have also been louder whispers about a slate that includes Armas Amukwiyu and Elijah Ngurare.
It is clear that the succession battle lines have now been drawn, amid growing Machiavellian tactics of social media slandering, even of journalists who are reporting on the ongoing cloak-and-dagger shenanigans.
While factions have gained adherents, as they continue to undermine real or imaginary opponents, lost in the milieu is what exactly these candidates stand for.
What is missing is an openness to share their aspirations, and showcase what they can do better than those who are currently in control of the party and the government.
What is missing is the battle and contestation around ideas and solutions.
In politics, the elephant in the room has always been that factional forces push candidates to contest for party leadership positions, so they can benefit personally through their corruption endeavours. These keyboard revolutionaries and their bankrollers then try to package their motives in the thinly veiled wrapping of their “love” for democracy.
Ironically they also project themselves as being anti-patronage and anti-corruption, while their fig leaf disguise is slipping off for the whole world to see.
For as long as we can remember, cabals have been feeding on State coffers, through their proximity to Swapo, and therefore it is unsurprising that when they are challenged, they hit back at those who closing these taps.
At this stage of the proceedings, those who are not simply being used by factions, and who genuinely want to stand for top four and central committee positions, should lift their voices and begin to speak on the solutions that they have for the party and country.
Issue number one should be the virulent economic circumstances the nation is sailing through, which affects both rich and poor, and which is having massive impacts on employment, food security and basic survival.
Obviously, there are many other issues we want to hear their views on.
What we want to assess is whether they are cut from the kind of cloth needed to take their country to greater heights. Let us lift the debate from the gutter, once and for all!
Coming out of the shadows is something that these aspiring candidates should do immediately.
Let them also publically sever their ties with the business cabals that are seething, because they no longer enjoying tenders that were dished out to them because of who they have in their pockets in government.
What is needed is a much healthier debate around core issues.
Let the fog of uncertainty be lifted, and let those who think they can lead, emerge from the shadows.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015