By Joshua Razikua Kaumbi
PRESIDENT Hage Geingob gave us a team that comes across as being a reflection of the very same fabric that is binding us.
Keeping in conformity with the provisions of the party’s constitution, President Geingob became the first to implement the Zebra style.
He looked not only in his yard, but across the breadth of this country, and gave us what comes across as a team that has the ability to work with everyone and give Swapo a broad-based colour.
This is not the first time that a president produced a team, as all Swapo Congresses had a list being circulated by the person with the gavel – the president. In the absence of any evidence to the contrary, I shall assume that President Geingob’s intention was to unite the party towards unity of purpose, which should see any task through. The team the current president, offered to the delegates, are all experienced cadres of our party. Therefore, it is imperative that all on the slate and the delegates work, together towards ensuring victory in the first round. The race has not been won until the final whistle. The priority should not be to defeat this or the other group, but to restore sanity in our house and create a national character of the party, as couched in its constitution. As ‘His truly’ said, the intention should be to play the ball and not the man.
Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah: The transition
In addition to her being a woman, a fact known to all and sundry, she is most importantly best placed to unite Swapo and the country during these turbulent times. Right Honourable Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah has since the dawn of independence come across as a person with the ability to reach out to all the constituencies of the Swapo Party, and the country, very well. She is at ease amongst everybody, and appears to have an ear of listening to the people, and has the ability not only to listen, but also to digest.
President Geingob’s candidate for the vice-presidency is an important link between the leaders of the past and the new generation to emerge. The Founding President was reconciliation, former President Pohamba was to consolidate, and President Geingob is prosperity, than Comrade Nandi-Ndaitwah will be transition. This is a slot that only she can fill.
I am informed, which information I verily believe to be true, that the incoming vice-president started as a youth leader in the former Ovamboland and remains amongst the few women imprisoned for her political activities. At a tender age of 21 in 1974, she was the pioneer to lead a group of five, which swelled to seven, to leave the country for exile. In exile, she was absorbed into the Swapo Central Committee and was assigned various roles and responsibilities as the representative of Swapo. After independence, she served in various capacities as a deputy minister and full minister of very important ministries, including her current position. During all these successful stints, she managed to work well with all the three presidents and all factions within the party.
The process to pass the relay button has started, and that process should be allowed to its logical conclusion, and not be disrupted for temporary ululation.
Our politics should be based on identifying the right leader for the right time. Such a leader should be able to understand our generation, but still have a strong link to the very foundation of Swapo. We should choose leaders more for what they can do for the party and the country, and not for us as individuals. Once we have achieved that, we would not expect individual favours from those occupying offices.
Comrade Nandi-Ndaitwah is such a leader. She has built a record of absolute dedication to the service of the nation and the party. She has managed to remain loyal to the principles of the party and stay the course. She has morally played it well, and remains among a very few crop of those that take gratification in service to the populace.
Our current president needs a person who will be dedicated to his objectives at all costs and assist him in calling the members to order, with the aim of uniting the party and the country. The president would find that person in Nandi-Ndaitwah without doubt.
Comrade Shaningwa’s nomination as a candidate for secretary-general comes without any surprise, as she has proven herself to be a tested cadre. She has risen in the ranks of leadership and the party consistently over the past few years and she has excelled in all the posts she has occupied. Her no-nonsense attitude seems to indicate that she will do well as the chief administrator of a party that has of late been under siege for all sorts of reasons. She has proven to be a good listener, and she is not afraid to crack the whip, if push comes to shove. This is the grandmother you wish your son had or the teacher you end up talking about the whole time.
As a person who comes from the grassroots, first as the governor of the Khomas region and later of Omusati, she will have the advantage of having learned the art of interacting for the right reason. In Omusati, she established herself as the most vocal supporter of President Geingob and helped containing the noises. She left Omusati in better shape, and will do the same to the position of the secretary-general, indeed, as she will dare to be different and unique.
Comrade Marco Hausiku is no stranger to Namibian politics. He is one of the few important national leaders of the internal Swapo still standing, and will assist Comrade Shaningwa in understanding the structures of the Swapo Party in other parts of the country. Comrade Hausiku has proven himself as a focused individual, whose aim is to the task at hand. As the custodian and rector of the newly-established Swapo Party School, the transmitting belt of the ethos of the party, it makes perfect sense to have him as the deputy secretary-general. His calmness and vast experience will be enormously valuable to the secretary-general. There is a growing concern of the exclusion of a sector of the Namibian people and this will go a long way.
As a rector, the less burdensome position of deputy secretary-general will serve him very well. He will be able to have the importance of the party school recognised at the highest level and impart the respect and moral values to those in leadership.
In conclusion, the selection of the above team indicates that there was a serious application of the mind by President Geingob, to move the country forward. The quartet is very much experienced, able citizens, who will be in a position to help Number One steer the ship out of the current rough seas. God bless this country, as we have no intention of going into exile at this age.
* 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.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015