WITH due respect to Home Affairs and Immigration Minister Pendukeni Iivula-Ithana, whom we all regard as a mother, to drag President Geingob’s family into her pursuit for power, was the lowest of the low.
Iivula-Ithana claimed she hates to be personal, but went on to publically cite Geingob’s father, his wife, children and former wife, in her crusade against her political foe.
Aspirants for the top political offices of the Swapo Party should refrain from drawing innocent people into their political battles, as that goes beyond limits.
They should be confined to a coherent ideological and clear socio-political line, instead of seeking to insult one another or draw innocent children and family members into their political battles.
Similarly, there is always a hollow ring to accusations by current and former cabinet ministers that the government of the day is failing or that the political party they are a part of has lost its way, simply because they are not in senior leadership positions.
But the members of the so-called ‘Team Swapo’ went a step further this weekend and began to raise embarrassing issues around those that shared the stage with them at the Oshakati Independence Stadium.
During the so-called ‘Star Rally’ gathering in Oshakati, Iivula-Ithana should have turned her back when she inadvertently trashed her teammate, Jerry Ekandjo, who presided over the ministry which she now claims to have cleaned up.
She claimed to have cleaned up the mess in her ministry, without contextualising that the current Sport, Youth and National Service Minister has served as both a deputy minister and minister of home affairs until 2005.
Another ‘team member’, Rosalia Nghidinwa was home affairs minister from 2005 and 2012, and was sitting near Iivula- Ithana when she spoke.
But in the context of Nghidinwa, Iivula-Ithana owes her recognition for the foundation that she laid, in terms of establishing reliable information technology infrastructure, to fast-track the issuing of identity documents, birth certificates and passports.
Former Prime Minister, Nahas Angula, who is running for the Swapo presidency, alongside Ekandjo and President Hage Geingob, pointed to the country’s economy, house prices and youth unemployment, while forgetting that the youth minister was right there with him.
Angula also failed to mention that the Targeted Intervention Program for Employment and Economic Growth (TIPEEG), which failed to create the jobs for the youth that it promised, had taken place under his stewardship as prime minister.
Other ‘Team Swapo’ candidates spoke of Namibians being sidelined, at the expense of foreigners, while they are being funded by those who are known to be in multibillion deals with foreign companies.
We point this out, not to ridicule or humiliate, but to illustrate the nature of politics in Namibia right now, and the price some are willing to pay to get their hands on the levers of power.
The venue for the ‘Team Swapo’ event, in the heart of the party’s northern stronghold, has rightfully provoked turbulence, in terms of this faction wanting to herd support along tribal lines. If it is not the reality, it is certainly the perception.
It was telling that most who attended had in fact travelled there in flashy cars, and ordinary people had not been fooled by the Swapo Star Rally tag of the gathering.
In the run-up to the Swapo Congress, slated for 23 to 26 November, the level of politicking could well reach new lows, as sitting ministers like Iivula-Ithana and Ekandjo rail against the very government that they are part of.
It is further shocking that Angula, who is a veteran of the government and the party, is now claiming that Swapo is slowly degrading and losing its values, while he sits on structures of the party, alongside his ‘Team Swapo’ teammates.
The reality is that many believe that Angula could well be attempting to pull another stunt like at the 2004 Swapo Extraordinary Congress, where he withdraw at the last minute and gave his votes to someone else. If one reads the way the candidates, who are also sitting ministers, are playing the game, it may be that they are provoking some kind of action by Geingob, ahead of the congress, in order to be turned into political martyrs.
Then truth of the matter is that when the dust settles, Swapo and the government should emerge with the common goal of building this nation, in the interests of all.
It is in no one’s interest that the level of doublespeak, and downright distortions, is raised to a level that makes this impossible after 26 November.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015