Introspection meeting for final victory

Dear Editor,

WE commend the President of the mighty SWAPO party, the vice President, the Secretary General and the Deputy Secretary General for providing party members an opportunity to identify political and social-economic gaps through the recent introspective meeting. In the same vein, we congratulate the Commander-In-Chief of the former People’s Liberation Army of Namibia (PLAN) the Military Wing of SWAPO and former President Dr. Hifikepunye Pohamba for his ever-patriotic commitment to party unity.

Dear gallant sons and daughters of the Land of the Brave, comrades and party supporters, ‘history is the best judge whose verdict cannot be ignored.’ Many inflammatory messages were said during and after the introspection meeting. For a better understanding of the purpose of the meeting, here are some synonyms of ‘Introspection’ (1) ‘self-examination, (2) self-analysis and (3) reflection. If the three synonyms are a reflection of the true purpose for which the introspection meeting was convened for, then all SWAPO cadres, members and supporters should congratulate themselves because the outcome is a collective achievement.

In other words, if the meeting was a success then victory is forever. If it did not meet our expectations, then we should blame ourselves. Do not point fingers at the President, the Deputy President, the Secretary General and Deputy Secretary General. We should rather admit that somewhere somehow we are sleeping on duty. It is a fact, that the four top leadership roles are to create an opportunity for checks and balances, and if they were those who slept on duty they should be held accountable.

We are inspired by the proposal of Dr. Sam Nujoma the Founding President and the Leader of the Namibian Revolution who proposed that the “Party think tank be reformed to include party members such as veterans of the liberation struggle.” To be specific, “former commanders and combatants of the People’s Liberation Army of Namibia, former political prisoners and others with institutional memory of the Party Liberation legacy”.

We are of the same view with that of the Founding President and in fact had submitted a 10-point plan to the party Secretary General for inclusion in the introspection meeting. We commend Government for not only organising an introspecting meeting, but also for establishing a Ministry of Veterans Affairs whose key mandate is to initiate promote and ensure that veteran’s socio-economic projects and programmes are fully implemented.

Introspection means an opportunity to take stock, take a stand, take a step, and indeed take shape by asking ourselves through critical debate as to what have we individually done to grow the party politically and in regards to socio-economic development? According to Dr. John Tibane, “when deficiencies in our lives are not eliminated, they retard our growth and progress”.

We are approaching regional and local council elections come November 2020. Knowing that SWAPO is the people and that the people are SWAPO, the enemy of the revolution is trying to destroy the party through the backdoor. Political rivals are using visible and invisible political character assassination propaganda to tarnish both the party and the leadership’s image. The reasons are obviously to try to split party voters through mushrooming so-called independent candidates.

Yes, there could be horizontal and vertical leadership gaps within party structures. But as cadres of the party we are aware that the President of the Republic and of SWAPO Dr Hage Geingob declared war against under development, poverty, illiteracy and disease. On that note we as former PLAN combatants – veterans of the liberation struggle – commit ourselves to defeat poverty, illiteracy and disease just as we defeated apartheid colonialism 30 years ago.

According to Dr. John Tibane, “Gaps unrecognised cannot be evaluated, and gaps unrecognised cannot be eliminated”. It is a fact that as leaders and members of the party, we have gaps in our lives. It is also true that we need to recognise them, analyse them and indeed eliminate them by taking appropriate actions. That deficit in the party can only be recognised through an introspective platform. Hence we command the leadership for providing party members this golden opportunity for self-examination.

For SWAPO members and supporters, remember truth never hides. We are carrying the torch of truth thus, nothing to fear. To justify our narratives, permit me to quote the SWAPO Constitution which indeed is the Supreme Law of the Party. “According to Article 1V C (2) a member of SWAPO PARTY has the following obligations: (Iinakugwanithwa);

(a) to act with dedication and commitment in the interest of the Party and the national interest of Namibia;

(b) to be of exemplary conduct and to act in a spirit of comradeship towards other members of the Party;

(c) to respect, take care of and protect the property of the Party;

(d) to attend meetings of the Party called by the organs he or belongs to, as well as any other meeting he or she may be summoned by the Party to attend;

(e) to observe and comply with decisions, resolutions and directives of the majority, even though he or she might have voted against them or held a diverging opinion during the discussion;

(f) to contribute to the strengthening of the organic unity of the Party and the political consciousness of its rank and file;

(g) to be ever vigilant against infiltration of the ranks of the Party by persons not worth the honour of SWAPO Party membership;

(h) to oppose functionalism and defend the Party

(i) to strive constantly to explain the aims and objectives, policies and the political direction of the Party to the masses;

(j) to promote and exercise criticism without fear and self-criticism with a view to overcoming any defects, errors or deviations in the Party;

(k) to be sincere and honest; and

(l) to protect the Party’s secrets.

It is a fact that the inclusive and motivational strategy to win the battle for socio-economic emancipation is not the throwing of stones, or insulting your rivalry, but it is a battle of ideals where all players are expected to generate exciting inclusive economic modules on how best we can together grow our economy for the benefit of all Namibians and all those living in this country. Thus, all for final victory. Remember, ‘Their blood, tears and sweat waters our freedom’.

Let’s unite together as SWAPO Party Cadres, members and supporters to celebrate our victory!

Nkrumah Mushelenga

Rt. Commissioner for Refugees and founder of the Peter Nanyemba Plan Combatant Veterans Trust