WITH the emergence this week of potential challengers to President Hage Geingob, in terms of standing against him for the Swapo presidency in November, the country could be headed for an uncertain political scenario, in which there will potentially be two centres of political power – one at the ruling party headquarters and another at State House.
We have seen this before in Southern Africa, in the aftermath of ANC’s Polokwane elective conference, when then-president Thabo Mbeki was ousted from his position as party president by Jacob Zuma.
The ANC ‘solved’ the two centres conundrum by recalling Mbeki and replacing him with caretaker national president Kgalema Motlanthe, which turned open the taps of corruption and State capture in the neighbouring country, which has becoming the enduring legacy of the Zuma administration. The South African Head of State and his political backers have shown no shame, as they continue to vacuum up billions of taxpayer dollars, while impoverishing the poorest of the poor.
In Namibia, the two centres of power scenario could have even more massive implications, as the austerity and fiscal discipline adopted by the current administration will come under threat from those who are part of the business cabals that are plotting Geingob’s downfall.
The current economic headwinds, caused by a combination of global forces and local looting by tenderpreneurs, have the potential to drive Namibia into the abyss, if the corruption machine is restarted with gusto by those who are backing Geingob’s political enemies in Swapo.
At the core of their plan is unzip the purse strings of treasury, so they can continue to fund their lavish lifestyles that includes luxury homes, fast cars and even faster romances.
Swapo’s elective conference has always been slightly out of sync with the national elections, but the upcoming ruling party congress is beginning to highlight for the first time the serious problems that could result if there is infighting between party and national leaders. In this regard, there is already blood in the water, as Geingob faces waves of unjustified attacks by those who have as yet failed to articulate what they would do differently to weather the current economic woes.
Questions about how to manage two centres of power may be creating sleepless nights for many within Swapo.
There is a strong argument to be presented that that the president of the party should lead the country, thus avoiding the two centres of power scenario.
Collusion to oust the president in November will leave a lengthy period in which the country and party have two separate leaders, until the 2019 general elections.
This transition period could be a serious test for the party, as their will be massive pressure from his political enemies who want to restart the looting sprees, by an elite few, which have characterised the country since independence.
The two centres of power issue raises serious questions about why Swapo has not linked its elective conference cycle with the country’s national election cycle.
If a scenario is reached where Swapo’s elective conferences are so destabilising to the country, then eventually, something will need to be done.
In the meantime, Namibia holds it breath to see whether the wolves, disguised in sheep’s clothing, will be able to install their Swapo faction, and in so doing, re-open the tender taps, so they can continue to feast on the fiscus, to the detriment of the majority of Namibians.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015