IN 2007, a rag-tag group, now known as the Pirates of Polokwane, were so exacerbated with then South African President Thabo Mbeki that they were manipulated into throwing their behind a clearly compromised candidate in Jacob Zuma.
The lies that sunk Mbeki have become somewhat of a blueprint for how to besmirch and terrorise a sitting leader.
And not surprisingly, these tactics are now being used liberally in the run-up to the Swapo elective congress that takes place from 23 to 26 November.
The strategy has been plain for all to see, and has employed rampant populism in its efforts to undermine the government. There have been many failed attempts, so far, to create an atmosphere of chaos, while using the genuine aspirations of the poor around land, housing and jobs and their desire to attain a seat at the table, where tenderpreneurs had previously enjoyed rented accommodation.
As in the case of Mbeki, there have been attacks on the party by groupings that have in their midst politicians, who have served in government for decades, and are now claiming that Swapo has lost its way, and that it is anti-poor.
They call themselves “Team Swapo”, but as their detractors have pointed out, they are wolves in sheep’s clothing, who are the masterminds behind the Affirmative Repositioning and Masalad groupings.
They point to the economic headwinds, inherited by the current administration, but fail to contextualise this with the rampant looting that has characterised the State tenders they have feasted on.
As with Mbeki, the current administration is being painted as aloof, while the political strategy is to make ordinary Namibians and Swapo members believe that they have an uncaring administration at the helm.
In the case of South Africa, Zuma was portrayed as a man of the people, whose rise to power was victory for the ANC’s alliance partners and its struggle-era vision of the party as a popular front.
But the truth was even more sinister than anyone could imagine.
When the puppet masters behind Zuma’s rise finally got their hands on the levers of power in the neighbouring country, they embarked on a criminal enterprise that puts even the mafia to shame.
The wholesale theft and robbery of the South African treasury is an example of what can happen when a country fails to identify the characters that lurk in the background, plotting and scheming to install those they view as their puppets.
Let us fast forward to Namibia 2017…
In less than a month, Swapo delegates will descend on the party’s elective congress, where they will be voting a new top four and central committee into power.
There will be competing interests at the Swapo Congress, but sober minds are required, if the party and the country is to emerge stronger and more unified.
What we can ill-afford is for the puppet masters to get their way.
Already, we have seen the current administration moving along a trajectory that clearly has sent shivers along the spines of the looters and plunderers.
They want to return to the feeding table, where they have held sway, at the expense of the rest of the country. They are willing to go as far as offering brown envelopes, business deals and other incentives.
They are willing to use politicians, who may have the best interests of their party and country at heart, but who may feel that their time has arrived, or that it is now or never, and that this is their final chance.
However, the end result is always the same: The rich get richer and the poor continue to languish in hunger and poverty, when the self-styled puppet masters collect what they are ‘owed’.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015