By Joshua Razikua Kaumbi
MY late mother taught me not to poke fun at a sleeping black mamba. She told me that all those who did that never lived to tell the tale of its reaction.
The victory of President Geingob taught us that we perform better when everything is stacked against us as humans, and that the pot dare not be allowed to call the kettle black.
In the final analysis the result of Sixth Swapo Congress confirmed what we knew about the son of a farm worker, a responsible family man, whose love for this country drove him into exile and continues to keep him awake at night, agonising about the collective challenges. It confirmed that President Geingob represents the sum total of our collective hopes and fears, as he sees the threats and savour the opportunities, and openly assure us that our problems as a country will never exceed our immense potential when we are united. (Geingob 2017, State of the Nation Address, edited)
Those we seconded to represent us at the congress of the party that gave us an identity, whatever her shortcomings, yesterday and today, stood in unison when they confirmed the precedent we set for ourselves.
They said it matters more when we see each other as diverse, yet similar, similar yet diverse, citizens of one country who deserve a general application of the law. They said that even occupants of the same house should differ, but that ought not to be the raison d’être to dismantle the house that we borrowed from future generations – those who will not ask to be born or were not party to their parents fights, but nevertheless will have to deserve their day under the scorching sun of our land; the land that has earned different reputations amongst different generations, as a place of despair for those who live on nothing but dreams, those we had to leave behind in unmarked graves far away from their place of birth and those who continue to sleep under bridges, as if they never experienced the warmth of their mother’s womb. This is the land we call home, whatever her shortcomings, at the moment.
Our actions yesterday brought to the fore the flaw innate to humans, a tasteless flaw that tends to speak down to the achievement of others and their genuine attempts. We are called upon to return to the African values that our rise, is at most, as a result of the assistance from our communities, and therefore we should all be each other’s keepers, whatever our differences the day before today. When the self is on the wrong path, the other self should provide direction, before it can ridicule.
There is a lesson to be learned from the noise that came to naught at the Sixth Swapo Party Congress. The president won because he ran an issue-based campaign, as opposed to his opponents.
It was efficient and focused. He focused on issues of substance. When Geingob’s campaign picked momentum, it swayed the mood, even for those who joined on the basis of something else other than principle.
His opponents, in an attempt to project him as the worst thing that ever happened to the short history of our country, awakened the Hage Geingob whose whereabouts some of us questioned since ascending to power.
They were not strategic and defeated themselves by scoring own goals on the basis of having multiple people running under one banner. They were all strikers, who all had the Swapo Ballon d’Or in mind, with no defenders and a goalkeeper.
All things being equal, President Geingob ran a better campaign, and that proved to be the litmus test for how well he would run the country.
The team he employed and the projects that he announced were already telling. The others ran a different campaign, which to all and sundry came forth as outright disrespect to a sitting president and totally unfair to an innocent person.
The fact that most of them were former people of influence and filthy rich, begged for questions from ordinary people. In the final analysis, it all came down to what each demonstrated.
The end of the Sixth Swapo Party Congress will not signal the end of the onslaught on the person of the president or his administration. Some of the candidates might return to what they have been doing before, whilst others would keep into focus the Swapo Electoral College that is yet to come.
The noise might not necessarily come from the candidates themselves, but more from those who encouraged them to run in the first place. It is the nature of politics, especially that of Swapo Party, for new alliances to emerge, and this time around will not be different.
As a result, President Geingob will have to realign his Cabinet team – a task that will be made easier by the outcome of the congress.
He need not leave some out, as they will not be there in the first place, they would have fallen off the cliff by themselves.
The president will have to reshuffle his ministers, to get the most out of them. A reshuffle is inevitable, as it does not amount to firing, but more a readjustment of the team. The president has not necessarily appointed the current crop of ambassadors and he might want to make use of this opportunity to create vacancies in the executive. The focus will thus be on how President Geingob would go about to ensure he has the right people around him, and in the most strategic positions, without coming forth as being vindictive. He, however, does not have an option, as the status quo will allow some to continue to use their position of influence in the party and government, to once again attempt to mount a challenge and frustrate him at the Swapo Electoral College or dent his legacy.
Given the longstanding relationship between the president and now former Swapo Secretary-General, Nangolo Mbumba, it will be interesting to see where he will place him who was insulted in his name.
Whatever the reshuffle, it should take into account the performance of the executive, and their moral rectitude. Eventually it will be his failure or success, and this is the message that he needs to impart onto his executive.
Though no one made it happen for President Geingob other than the whole country, it is interesting to note the influence of the NANSO generation of 1988, as opposed to the past congress, the current team consisted of people who had political background and who excelled in their various professional fields, without favours from the political powers.
That was also the weak part of the other team. In as much as they had young people, most of them were missing during the critical time when NANSO was a force.
It is now time for politicians to sit down, get back to work and take this country out of the recession. The same zeal that we applied to the congress should be the same zeal we should apply to our work. Apostle Marson Sharpley, that man who prays to such an extent that even God refuses to say no, will have no option but to agree with me that with prayers all things becomes equal.
We are all citizens of this country and we better move on now, until the next bout.
Etse Hage hou op die mense slaan!
Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year. Opuwo. Toago. Shapwa. Gedaan.
*Joshua Razikua Kaumbi is a holder of BA Political Science (Unam), LLB (Stellenbosch) and is a practising admitted attorney, currently on legal sabbatical. His opinions are expressed in his capacity as a Namibian by birth, and not choice
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015