PLAY THE BALL FOR THE SAKE OF 2024

BY JOSHUA RAZIKUA KAUMBI

THE nomination process has started, and is expected to conclude in a few days’ time.

This campaign will not be about President Geingob, but his successor. The president is set to retire come the end of his term, as per his employment application form submitted in 2015, which application he completed and submitted himself. He steered this country through

its most tumultuous period, both economically and socially.

He already informed us, as the principal drafter of the Namibian Constitution, that he started preparation for the life after the presidency, which period he surely would equally enjoy. He ran his
relay race, as well as he could (my subjective guess) and is more than ready to hand it over to someone else, knowing that his work will in some respect be incomplete, because times of humans have never been sufficient (Barack Obama, paraphrased).

President Geingob’s position as president of the party is not going
to be contested at the forthcoming congress unlike in the previous congress where he was challenged. The decision for the president of the country not to be challenged
at the party level was taken by properly constituted structures of the Swapo Party. This was indeed a wise decision for the sake of political stability. Ironically, President Geingob was the only serving party President to be challenged in the history of SWAPO. During this period I would not expect the presidency to react
to each and every footstep in the yard at night, lest it interferes with the president’s sleeping pattern. The intention of any defence should not disturb the sleep alluded to earlier. We should guard against waking the whole house up in an attempt to kill a ‘pestilential mosquito’, whose death has no ramifications in terms of our

Joshua Kaumbi

law. (Figuratively intended)
With the position of the Party

presidency out of contention, the big price for the forthcoming congress is that of the Vice President, Secretary- General and Deputy Secretary General of the Swapo Party.

A number of observers within and outside the SWAPO Party expected President Geingob to endorse a candidate of his choice. Contrary

to expectations and appeals for him to anoint his successor, President Geingob categorically and repeatedly stated that he will not endorse anyone.

As expected there are various interpretation to this stance and rightly so as our Nation State is a working democracy. The author’s interpretation is that the stance was not a vote of
no confidence in any team, but his intention to usher a democratic dispensation in the party. I stand to be corrected.

While people may have misgivings about president Geingob not endorsing anyone for the top leadership positions in the party, this indeed is a sign of statesmanship where he as the head
of the party is above the ongoing contestations and squabbles. That
is indeed the hallmark of a true democrat.

The position that Geingob has taken deserves a positive welcome as it will go a long way in consolidating unity
in the party and will also strengthen his moral authority as president of the party as everyone will feel that “Hage Geingob belongs to all of us”. I am sure that after the internal contestation, him as the president of Swapo, will be able to be roped in to campaign for the successor his party would have elected, without any misgivings.

It was equally the expectation of a number of observers that the process of the Swapo primary would not
pit the members against each other again, especially if the candidates
come from electorally crucial regions such as Ohangwena and Omusati. History as their lesson, many would have expected a meeting of minds amongst the candidates. Now that we are here, it will be the duty of all the contenders to ensure that the fight should be about the ball and not the game. (Hage Geingob) At the end of the game, when the winner will step forward to represent us in the 2024 elections, it will be under the same banner and name of the Swapo Party. We should thus run the race in such a way that we can all go to our rooms in the same house as members whose aim was to strengthen democracy. We need to pledge to wage a clean campaign that will allow us to collectively mount a successful campaign come the next national elections. Those across
the street are keenly watching any possibility of us, children of one house, adding fuel to the fire.

Good Luck and may the best men win for us all.