Namibian politics makes history
By Former Member of Parliament Fluksman Samuehl
SWAPO PARTY VICE PRESIDENT ELECTION OUTCOMES
It is official! Cde Netumbo Ndemupelila Nandi-Ndaitwah (NNNN) has been re-elected as SWAPO Party Vice President as declared on Monday,28th November 2022 in the nation’s capital Windhoek. What started as a low-key intra-party election contestation in the City of Windhoek (Khomas Region) on 4th September 2022, it later turned into political festival drawing large crowds as the campaigns intensified in other regions. Throughout the entire campaign trail, NNNN had attracted large crowds made up mainly of delegates to the SWAPO Party 7th National Elective Congress 2022.This piece provides scholarly political analysis around the NNNN electoral victory, its relevance and political ramifications to Namibian politics in general.
Indeed, history is made by man (in this case man means woman).
Finally, the moment of truth is with us, and the long-awaited results over top political positions in the SWAPO Party is finally over. This lengthy process has delivered Comrade NNNN! Politics is the game of numbers for which NNNN has won the battle out of these fierce primary contestations- the will of the SWAPO Party general membership as exercised by the delegated envoys has triumphed at the SWAPO Party 7th National Elective Congress 2022.
FROM HUMBLE BEGINNING TO TOP SERVANT LEADERSHIP…
M’kwanangombe (clan name for NNNN) hails from humble beginning, and brought up under strict Christian values in the former Ovamboland where she later served as the leader of the SWAPO Youth League in the early 1970’s before she fled into exile in 1974 at a tender age.
Inspired by Julius Kambarage Nyerere’s political philosophy, NNNN is a staunch proponent of a just society and women empowerment and she has deeper appreciation and understanding for broader youth empowerment and youth deployment in key and impactful leadership positions to influence societal narratives in today’s Namibia.
INTRA-PARTY ELECTION CAMPAIGNS AND CONTESTATIONS OVER HIGH PROFILE NATIONAL POLIITICAL POSITIONS
A confident and upbeat SWAPO Party Vice President spoke her mind consistently and freely on what she represents during the campaign trail. NNNN had articulated her views on how SWAPO Party could possibly transform itself to be relevant and appealing to the changing times. Moreover, she had pointed out on how SWAPO Party should position itself in a way it inspires the masses and win future elections overwhelmingly.
However, achieving this may require strong, exemplary, competent and ethical leadership at thetop-leaders who enjoy respect from greater Nambian society .
NNNN also provided clarity on what she brings to the table in terms of her leadership acumen, experiences and other abilities- reflecting on wide range of topical issues that need immediate priority attention both at the SWAPO Party level and at the level of Namibian nation/state.
As the NNNN campaign trail advanced, simultaneously it gained traction, momentum and climax when it reached the last decisive regional presentation held in Hardap region on 13th November 2022. The writing was on the wall for all to see that the majority delegates wanted the legacy to continue aided by the slogan that reads “the future is women.”
THE CORNERSTONE OF NNNN ELECTION CAMPAIGN
The cornerstone of NNNN political campaign key message hinges on integrity, ethical leadership, clean governance, effective service delivery, intra party unity, effective youth empowerment initiatives and policy interventions and taking decisive actions that may result in the growth of the domestic economy with trickle-down effect for the socio-economic benefits of all Namibians. The bottom line of her message was about exercising strong leadership at all times, show political will and ensuring that Government creates strong favorable enabling environment for all citizens to flourish and making Namibia a better place for all.
It appears that the NNNN campaign was primarily about seeking the right intervention to “SAVE SWAPO PARTY” from further electoral decline as witnessed in 2019/2020 elections- a situation that was caused not necessarily because of service delivery failures but largely due to the political implications of the verdict of the “court of public opinion” informed by reports of entanglement of some high-profile SWAPO Party leaders who are bogged down in fish rot scandal and other self-enrichment schemes and corruption at the expense of the struggling masses. Moreover, restoring public confidence in SWAPO Party was a key consideration in the NNNN election campaign strategy .
THE ROAD AHEAD
Given this victory what is next? What does the future hold for NNNN?
By implication, this development does not only mean NNNN has kept her job for the sake of it as she starts her second term, but it reinforces the legacy continuation that whoever is SWAPO Party Vice President becomes the natural successor to incumbent SWAPO Party President and subsequently, President of the Republic of Namibia.
As the clock ticks fast towards the Presidential and National Elections of 2024, the entire rank and file of SWAPO Party, and its general membership is expected to rally fully behind Cde NNNN leadership and Presidential Candidature.
Given NNNN enormous political popularity and high ethical leadership standing which Namibia’s society has been yearning for.
Firstly, there is a lot of work cut out for NNNN. In reality, she is now the de facto face of SWAPO Party going forward-all attention and new hope shift on the next Presidential Candidate of the governing party SWAPO.
Unlike at the formation stage of SWAPO in the 1960’s, the ambition of SWAPO Party in post independent Namibia is to capture and retain state power democratically which comes with enormous influence and legitimacy and its elected leadership to use such state powers wisely and timely in the manner that it solves successfully multiple socio-economic development challenges facing Namibians today-and also to work towards the creation of a capable development state which is competitive and responsive at the global stage.
Given the diverse cultures and ethnic groupings in this vast Land of the Brave (Namibia), the nation building project is as relevant today as it was in 1990. Failuretosatisfythegenuinebasicneeds ofNamibians,itnormallycomes with consequence management politically at the polls as no amount of insubstantial excuses would be tolerated by enlightened citizens in a country that had enjoyed over thirty years of national independence and self-rule.
With NNNN at the helm of the SWAPO Party, it is anticipated that before the 2024 Presidential and National Elections, NNNN is expected to welcome to the SWAPO Party family new members countrywide who are inspired by her strong appeal, ethical leadership and commitment to clean governance, her unambiguous anti- corruption stance and total rejection of self-enrichment schemes by political office-bearers and other officials as well as her commitment towards the attainment of an all-inclusive and just society. NNNN, a trained as a diplomat is best placed to play the role of a catalyst for consensus building. She is also expected to elevate her immediate successor’s mantra of “Building a Namibian House for All”.
Given meticulous planning for the next Presidential and National Elections Campaign in 2024, modus operandi of engagement with the voting population, fielding of capable and ethical leadership that enjoys strong appeal countrywide and moving towards meritocracy, there is no doubt that with NNNN at the helm, SWAPO Party is poised to restore hope, regain its lost two thirds majority in the National Assembly which starts its official business on 21st March 2025.
IS NNNN POISED TO BE NUMBER ONE NAMIBIAN CITIZEN IN 2025?
Her Excellency NNNN, a diplomatic graduate student from the prestigious UK University of Keele is taking steps closer to State House. This historical development provides compelling lessons to the Namibian youth who aspire to get to the top by climbing the ladder of progress. Indeed, good things come to those who are prepared to wait for opportune time to arrive.
However, just like success, it comes about due to demonstration of discipline, perseverance, focused leadership despite the odds and one should continue to work towards achievable milestones in human life. If one considers the journey travelled by NNNN, as SWAPO Youth leader of the 1970’s, here we are now in 2022.
There is no short cut in life, there is only one way and that way is the right way.
Congratulations Cde NNNN, wishing you all success in the national and international tasks ahead as you navigate around difficult challenges to put Namibia on the right trajectory by giving guidance through your wisdom on how to leapfrog Namibia’s development agenda. After all, everything rises and fall ultimately on leadership.