By Joshua Razikua Kaumbi
THE candidates where nominated, and they accepted. The author shall not engage himself, with the process of comparative analysis, which in most cases is used as a guise for the demonisation of one candidate over the other, but entry my into the discourse is be formed by opinion shared by the majority of the citizens. That opinion from the streets to the opinion pieces in our daily newspapers, and the talking-heads on our television sets, says President Hage Geingob and his team must win at the upcoming Swapo Congress.
President Geingob must get his team elected at the congress, so that we can get to the real issue of focusing our attention to the daunting task of moving the economy of our country out of the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). The country, now more than ever, needs a safe pair of true and trusted hands.
Namibia should not suffer because of differences of opinions and understanding of issues.
Nahas Angula will forever remain a personal friend and a fellow Pan-Africanist, a committed social justice advocate. I wish him well but I do not support him for the Swapo Party presidency.
Comrade Jerry Ekandjo has been known to some of us here inside the country as a fearless freedom fighter-cum-political prisoner, a great mobiliser of yesteryear. I wish him well, but I do not support him for the Swapo Party presidency.
The position is already having a capable person named Dr Hage Geingob, the third President of the Swapo Party and the Republic of Namibia.
My love for this country enjoins me to stand by the fact that President Geingob is so early in his democratically crafted term, and thus needs to be allowed to implement his policies, which appear sound and intended to infuse a new and fresh trajectory in the body politic.
Our stability and future prospects as a nation are more important than our subjective frustrations. This man set his vision, which if tendered to, should take us to where we ought to be, away from the current impasse in the political economy, created by all of us.
The sitting President, an intellectual of note, has been more accessible to the needy and poor. The majority of the citizens seem to warm up positively to his unique style of governance of transparency and responsiveness.
Our campaign should not degenerate into ‘us versus them’, or a temporary appeasement of an ‘anti-them and us’ sentiment, which will signal a national tragedy of Shakespearean proportions for the Namibian nation State.
Any coalition that intends to exploit any weakness within our economy in an attempt to ‘tip the balance’ should be rejected. We dare not allow people to gain at all costs, on the basis of theories riddled with contradictions, upon a closer and proper inspection.
Most importantly, whatever our action to the run-up of the congress, we should be able to hear one another amidst the ear-splitting noise, and interact in a rational and civilised manner. The war, after all, ended in 1989!
Two centres of power is a poisoned chalice for either side to whom it would be bequeathed, by an ill-advised congress. It will lead to some discord in establishing and implementing policies for the nation and setting priorities to rapidly lead the country into prosperity; and it will ultimately create a policy and implementation logjam, to the frustration of the populace.
Our concern with regard the unity of the party should also extend to the unity of the country, as a whole. So far, no one ever publicly stated what the President did wrong, and how he should have handled himself hitherto, as the leader of Swapo, a situation not of his making, and as President of our republic, a calling he has acquitted himself well with, given the economic and political turmoil in the world we inhabit today.
If the President is disregarding the constitution of the party, we are not told what sections and provisions of the said constitution he disregarded.
When the Late Nataniel Maxuilili and the Founding President were both presiding over Swapo, the latter had two wings – one internal and one external. There was a need for somebody to keep the reins, whilst the one we regarded as the substantive President was in political exile. Despite the apriori, the line of command was one, which was from outside the country. The late Maxuilili was never a substantive president, just like the late Dawid Meroro or the late Danny Tjongarero, or like the late Nico Bessinger was Joint Secretary for Foreign Affairs within Namibia and Theo-Ben Gurirab was the substantive one outside. We never had two centres of power. All the same, we currently have one Swapo Party, the ruling party and the government of the day.
When the Late Hendrik Witbooi was the Vice-President of Swapo Party and Deputy Prime Minister, the now sitting President (Geingob) was only Prime Minister. The party had one President, being the Founding President since 1959 to 2007, when his leadership mandate lapsed, without him ever having faced a challenge for it.
If history is to be recorded very well, up until after independence, the Founding Father was not elected but “re-affirmed” as the President, as it was prudent to have continuity and consistency. Thus, we only had one Vice-President and one Prime Minister, the late Kaptein Hendrik Witbooi and President Hage Geingob, respectively. Was there to have been Swapo Congress elections, independence might not have arrived, and this would not have been the 6th Congress of the Swapo Party. Thus we only had one Vice-President and one Prime Minister, the late Kaptein Hendrik Witbooi and President Hage Geingob.
It is a trite fact that Founding President Sam Nujoma remained the Swapo Party President for some time, whilst President Hifikepunye Pohamba was the Vice-President, but President of the Republic of Namibia. This was a transitionary apparition, corrected at the earliest possible Swapo Congress. The apriori says it all: both were not President of the Swapo Party or the country at the same time, and both never challenged each other for the same position. Nevertheless that situation led to President Pohamba being given all sorts of names and people not knowing who to consult. Having learned from this recent history, President Pohamba sought to correct this administrative anomaly, but unfortunately and inadvertently this has been read by some circle as open solicitation to challenge, not only the position of SWAPO Party President, but also creating uncertainty around the position of the President of the Republic.
Two presidents will lead to the two individuals openly fighting for the prime time slot in the political arena. If the intention is to strengthen the Swapo Party then the party’s Constitution should be amended to align the leadership changes of the party with the cycle for the change in leadership of the nation. The absence of such an amendment, clearly indicate that the intention is to stage a “palace coup d’état”, a situation which should be rejected.
It is true that Swapo had a pecking order and the politics of predictability. None of the candidates ever complained of Ya Toivo, Maxuilili, Meroro (may all their souls rest in eternal peace) having been left out of the pecking order. If seniority is the issue, why are we silent about Comrade Armas Amukwiyu, who is contesting against Comrade Sophia Shaningwa for the Secretary-General post, thereby disturbing the pecking order and predictability?
The sitting President is a “Tangafella” (senior) and Comrade Nandi Netumbo-Ndaitwah is no “Tangalady”, but not junior to the other candidates competing with her. It was the very same Comrade Helmut Angula, who informed us that President Geingob should be the last “Tanga”, and now that the said President Geingob became amenable to his suggestion and gave us Comrade Netumbo-Ndaitwah, a seasoned, experienced and steadfast politician (more in part 2), now we want the music to stop.
We should not be spectators, when our dream as a nation is facing the risk of being deferred. We have friends and relatives attending this important gathering of the Swapo Party, and they should be informed of what is expected of them. To say each person’s potential should be recognised and encouraged. To say we dare not fail or falter or live under instability and fragmentation for centuries to come. All democracies are guided. Let us guide this democratic process towards a harmonious relationship. Let the Swapo Congress say not on our watch, not this generation. President Hage Geingob has proven himself, and no attempt at blowing his candle light out will make ours shine brighter. God and their blood should guide us to make the right decision for the country.
We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when [Congress delegates will be] afraid of the light.
* Joshua Razikua Kaumbi is a holder of a BA in Political Science (Unam), LLB (Stellenbosch) and is an admitted attorney. Opinions expressed are in his personal capacity, as guaranteed in the Namibian Constitution. The next instalment of this piece will be published next week
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015