Is Namibia edging to civil war, as Itula vows 25 December take-over?

By Brian Xamseb

THE outcomes of the November 27, 2019, Presidential and Parliamentary elections signify ground-shifting changes in the political landscape, which can be summed up as Namibia’s post-independence passage of the political Rubicon.

For all purposes and intents Namibia has passed the innocence of liberation politics and seems headed towards an internal power struggle, most probably sponsored by foreign enemies of President Dr. Hage Geingob, if any, to effect regime change by replacing him as elected President; a struggle which could turn violently deadly, unless pre-emptive security measures are taken by the relevant security agencies to avert this course.

The means for effecting regime change are the over-exaggerated use of the Fishrot corruption case as the required legitimate excuse and tool to whip up widespread citizens’ dissatisfaction; outright rejection of the 2019 Presidential and Parliamentary elections with the buy-in of major opposition party leaders; massive demonstrations throughout the country to create an environment of chaos and instability to ripen conditions for either an outright power grab, such as a coup d’état; and the President’s elimination, or forced resignation.

In this process, innocent yet radicalized predominantly Oshiwambo-speaking youths, disgruntled former fishermen, sections of the forever disloyal, ungrateful and supremacist white population, opportunistic opposition party leaders (RP, PDM, RDP, EFF and COD), and individuals with a personal axe to grind with the President have become willing pawns in disturbing the country’s peace by claiming election rigging. The assessment of potential civil war is premised on observable trends in the country and expressions by key actors, signaling associative signs that usually precede civil chaos and war.

In this regard, experts on security studies would agree that the following classical elements for regime change are visible in the Namibian context: Among others, depressed economic conditions; major youth unemployment, causing restlessness in thousands of idle youths; a foreign agency or agencies meddling in domestic election processes through publicly undeclared external election funding; and public opinion-altering disinformation media campaigns; continuous incitement of dissatisfaction among the lower echelons of security forces; a major government corruption scandal to cause widespread national resentment and uprisings; illogical non-factual demands for resignations of government officials and the President; a carefully choreographed and presented presidential “Independent Candidate” as saviour and messiah in the form of Dr. Panduleni Itula; and finally, allegations of election rigging without the need to prove them.

All these ingredients are present and only require a small powder keg to be set off. That ignition could possibly come in the form of Dr. Itula and his hordes of fanatical supporters, pushed forward by unseen forces of darkness and mayhem.

Dr. Itula, who was referred to as “the President of Namibia” on social media and at rallies by AR leaders and supporters, who refer to the democratically elected President Dr. Geingob as “the President of the EVMs” and of the ECN, has instead of dispelling the error of his supporters, threateningly confirmed himself as the real president of the Namibian people.

The so-called independent candidate and his supporters – not to mention the backers some of whom are well-known veterans within the Swapo Party – have even before the elections given clear signs that they would not accept any election outcome, other than one confirming him as Namibia’s president.

Responding to a question by a journalist whether he would accept defeat, Itula emphatically responded that it was a wrong question, while vowing that he would become president. What or who could possibly have given him as a first time political challenger for the Presidency such confidence, knowing well that the incumbent President, having in the 2014 elections scored an emphatic win of 87% and having an existing massive following from all regions built up over the years, as opposed to his narrow predominantly Oshiwambo youth and minority white support?

What type of assurances from which quarters or unknown country representatives could possibly have given Itula the assurance that he would be president – even to the extent of declaring post-elections that by December 25, Namibia will have a new president?

Dr Itula was quoted in The Namibian online on December 8, 2019 at a mass meeting at Embandu Sports Stadium saying the elections are far from over as President Geingob and his “hand-clappers” rigged the results, and that he Itula won the 2019 elections based on merit. He was also quoted as promising that “Justice will prevail and it does not matter how long it takes, but it shall prevail. And before 25 December you shall have a new president.”

It is not clear how the December 25 change will come about. What is clear is that this type of language is creating an atmosphere of illegitimacy to the current administration and therefore undermines its nation-building efforts. This is precisely where the security apparatus of the State is expected to step in and manage the situation before it gets out of hand.

To the credit of the Namibian Defence Force, its Acting Chief Air Vice-Marshall Martin Kambulu Pinehas issued a stern warning to would-be regime change plotters, when all other responsible agencies and leaders of the State have gone inexplicably mute on the current threat to the country’s security. The Air-Vice Marshall said NDF introduced security measures following incitements of violence and chaos, threats of assassination and civil war by certain individuals or groups using social media, particularly against the President.

“We cannot allow our country to descend into chaos due to self-serving individuals who do not have the security of our country at heart. NDF as the guarantor of national security and sovereignty remains vigilant and steadfast in defending the Namibian Constitution, national sovereignty and interest,” he said.

This is truly a patriotic statement from a professional soldier and must be emulated by all other security agencies and institutions of government that are sworn to uphold peace and stability without favour or fear. It goes without saying that those competent agencies entrusted with the security of this country were by now supposed to have identified the precise extent of the security threats and taken the required precautionary measures, such as picking up the inciters for intensive interrogation. If not, what are they waiting for?

Further, to date the source of Itula’s funding remains undeclared and unknown. Also, to date his full intent and objectives and priorities for Namibia once he becomes President remain unknown, as the media has never interrogated him on this.

[Shortened: Part 1 of 2]