Credit must be given where is due: It is not all in one
First, what is meant by credit? Credit in this scenario according to Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, means ‘praise, approval or honour’. It is not all in one. The perception here is that; no individual leader or an organisation can be ascribed absolute credit why?
Because according to John C. Maxwell in his book titled ‘The 4 pillars of success’ – success is a process. In other words for an individual; traditional, business, councillor or governor can be credited for success after applying the following processes; (1) mentorship, (2) self-improvement, (3) success, and (4) teamwork.
Chapter iii (b) of the SWAPO Party Constitution is more on the declaration of the party’s aims and objectives and in principle, the aims and objectives emphasise on the fundamental political and social economic values. Among them, the principles of the unity of the people of Namibia, the standard of defending and protecting Namibia’s hard-won independence, the fostering of a sense of common purpose and collective destiny among the people, the combating of retrogressive tendencies, the installing in the people a spirit of patriotism, and to fight underdevelopment, poverty, illiteracy and disease just to mention a few.
For the party cadres, membership cardholders, supporters and the would-be members, our political obligations are clear; to understand and popularise the ideas and ideals of solidarity, social justice and progress, as well as the principle of democracy on which Swapo is founded; and to establish permanent effective communication links with the people at all levels of society.
Other obligations are to mobilise the people for participation in the affairs of the government, develop in the Namibian citizenry a capacity for interpretation of political events in our country and the world as a whole; organise the people to demand for accountability from their elected representatives and to defend their hard-won democratic rights and liberties against any threat from whatever quarters. Other duties are to inculcate in the masses patriotic sentiments around which the people’s creativity and productivity could be galvanised and channelled towards national developmental programmes.
QUALITY OF LIFE
We are also required to promote peace and security in our country’ our sub-region, our continent and the world at large as a value to foster cooperation among nations. With regards to economic empowerment, the Party Political Programme current tasks includes among others, to promote full and active participation of all Namibians, in the process of economic reconstruction and development through the encouragement of innovative and creativity in economic activities such as small scale industries, cooperatives and joint ventures as well as job creation in the informal sector of the country’s economy; to work for full social justice in the distribution of the natural resources, wealth, promotion of efficiency and proper management of the human and natural resources.
Other responsibilities are to encourage communities and individuals to strive for a decent quality of life through the acquisition of new skills and the introduction of new techniques of production; work for the acceleration of economic growth; fight to ensure that the policy directive on affirmative action is effectively implemented to uplift the livelihoods of the veterans of the liberation struggle of Namibia.
On social empowerment, the party’s cadres are required to; promote family life as the core of human society where the youth are taught to understand the world around them, the norms and moral values of the community in which they live; help combat the anti-social practices of crime, alcoholism, drug abuse, prostitution.
On labour issues, workers are expected to defend workers’ democratic rights, organise themselves for the articulation of their own interests and to collectively withdraw their labour when confronted with related injustice.
On education, we are called upon to fight for the right of the youth to education, recreation, work and to promote their benefit in the development of a modern education system based on sciences, technology and arts; for the redistribution of education resources to historically disadvantaged schools; to promote in service training programmes for teachers, workshops of production and acquisition of educational materials.
With regards to the Swapo health projection, wing and affiliate members are mandated to; press for the speeding up of the process of the integration of the health system, so as to make it more efficient in catering to all Namibians; strive for the establishment of clinics and health centres in rural and urban areas where these essential services do not exist; press for the training of more health workers; and work for community-based programmes designed to increase community participation.
The party’s housing national task is clear, members are required to; work towards the provision of adequate decent and affordable housing for all; demand for the formulation of systematic plans for the erection of low-income house units which will eventually do away with squatting; encourage the production of local building materials as a way of making housing more affordable; campaign for the establishment of mechanism for the creation of housing financial schemes open to the low-income sections of society; and strive for the provision of clean drinking water and electricity in rural areas.
The blessing heroic words; ‘We are and will always remain indebted to those gallant sons and daughters of the Namibian people who paid with their lives so that our nation could regain its dignity, peace and democratic liberties’ Sam Nujoma (1990). Their blood tears, sweat and time water our freedom.
‘The world must be made safe for democracy’ Woodrow Wilson (1971)
‘An ideal for which I am prepared to die’ Nelson Mandela (1964)
‘The struggle will be longer and bitter, but my people will be victorious.’ Andimba Toivo Ya Toivo
Dear compatriots, a political party is a statutory body hence according to Chapter 2 Article 5 of the Swapo party constitution, ‘membership of Swapo party shall be open to every Namibian citizen who accepts the aims and objectives of Swapo party.’
The question is which of the political parties in this country possesses a trajectory record of successful governances in administration as a liberation movement, and as a ruling party? Which political party can compare its social economic development planning programme with that of Swapo?
Countrymen and women, remember ‘history is the best judge whose verdict cannot be ignored’ and that truth never hides.
Swapo is a heritage, and a mass-based political party born and steeled in the crucible of a popular and heroic struggle for national independence. It is founded on the principles of democracy, solidarity, freedom, social justice and progress.
As veterans of the liberation struggle of Namibia, the heroes and heroines; sons and daughters of the soil, we congratulate Swapo politburo for a decision to engage with veterans on issues related to veterans’ unity.
We also applause the government for continuing with its noble humanitarian effort to improving veterans’ livelihoods despite world social economic recession and high level of corruption in the country.
Nekwa lya tsima oye ngaa nyoko: Swapo is our political home.
Shili metiti omukuluntu eshitulamo: we are convinced that the Swapo constitution and the constitution of the Republic of Namibia are our fundamental social economic and political rights shields.
* Nkrumah Mushelenga is a Rt. Commissioner for Refugees, former NNLVA national coordinator and Founder and Chairperson of P.N.P.C.V.T.