LAST week marked 58 years since the inception of the Swapo party but more so, signals a time for the party to reflect on the past and seek learning curves beyond the calculus of public perceptions that the ruling party stands on firm ground.
Swapo is certainly no stranger to political scandals and factionalism and the Swapo congress last year in which the party split into two camps gave credence to these issues that should be guarded against in the future.
This anniversary should provide an opportunity to infer on the weakened building blocks of the party with a view of strengthening party structures, ensuring that past traditions even in succession prevail and upholding the notion that Swapo was birthed out of the tenets of unity.
Ethnic and tribal slurs that have characterised the party in the public and social space suggests that the party needs to evolve, and not constrain itself to ignorant positions of the past that foster division and malice.
This was vividly on show last year when President Hage Geingob, who was the rightful heir to party presidency was challenged based on his ethnic belonging.
We must further remember that many of Swapo’s fallen heroes that contributed immensely to what the party achieved, particularly in the attainment of independence in which they sacrificed their lives to end the many years of brutal terrorism and apartheid, could have never done it if they had been divided.
The unity exhibited by these cadres, regardless of their race, tribe, religion, or class should motivate our efforts to build a united, prosperous party and nation, devoid of ethnic or parochial divisions.
As President Geingob attested to at the party anniversary celebrations in Mariental last week, Swapo has always had a balanced representation of all ethnic groups in its leadership structures since inception and this should not be misrepresented to feed ego’s and personal vendetta’s in the future.
With only two more year till the party reaches six decades of existence, Swapo authorities must be reminded that confronting the obstacles to leading the electorate is complex and sometimes consists of sober, undramatic actions to achieve a goal. That is one of the key differences between populism, which thrives on slogans, and popular movements, which mobilise people into building organisations in order to achieve planned results.
We should then acknowledge that a logical message, representing a coherent plan for solving the big and small problems that the party faces at the hands of weevils was – and is – crucial.
The party must combat its cracks that are beginning to ensue by learning from its mistakes as a convincing way of remedying the issues at stake. This includes dispelling disruptive forces that have the capacity to derail progressive reforms of the party and are exploit the ignorance of the younger generation in order to bring about social unrest, confusion and chaos.
Strengthening of national structures largely depends on developing robust policies and closing succession loopholes, while zealously guarding the rich cultural and social heritage of the past and moving ahead to the victories of the future.
Happy 58th anniversary Swapo!
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015