‘Swapo is no longer the Swapo we knew’

By Nkrumah Mushelenga

Much is being said that ‘Swapo is no longer the Swapo people used to know,’ the Swapo of their forefathers and mothers. However, little is being said about the reality that Swapo is the same Swapo that fought and liberated this country. The only profound change that has occurred is that Swapo is no longer a liberation movement, but a political party.

The authenticity of that transformation from a liberation movement to a political formation comes with new competing technicalities and new realignments, hence, Swapo’s domestic policy as a liberation movement has been elevated to party political status. The purpose is to enable Swapo as a political party to defend and protect the hard won national independence and to consolidate peace and stability as a prerequisite to sustainable national peace, security and socio-economic development.

The second major changes occurred through leadership successions from Comrade Founding Father Dr. Sam Nujoma, to Comrade Dr. Hifikepunye Pahamba and indeed from the second President to Comrade Dr. Hage Geingob as the third President of the Republic. Namibians, we should bravely admit that we are the custodians of democracy hence, it remains a patriotic national obligation to all of us to jealously defend and protect the values of democracy to the best of our abilities.

Proverb: Omukulugwonale okwatile “lyo ngungu wu ngungumane” “ngweye to lyo dhidhi wu dhidhilike.”

Comrades and compatriots, party cadres, members, and supporters, why blame the party instead of accusing suspected individual members of the party? The party is guided in its daily operations by established internal rules and procedures, including party code of conduct and disciplinary procedures. An element to prevent conflict of interests is clearly entrenched in the two guiding instruments.

Both documents derive mandate from the party constitution. Hence, Swapo Party aims and objectives remain the same. Among them is to unite the Namibian people, to defend and protect the hard won national independence, and mostly important, to fight underdevelopment, namely poverty, illiteracy and disease. It is thus a fact that Swapo continues to command popularity among the Namibian people from all walks of life. This is significant because Swapo has never been a tribal-based liberation movement, and never will it be a tribal political party.

“One word is enough for a wise man or woman.” After failing to capture the heart and minds of the Swapo cadres, supporters, and would-be members, the opposition parties’ campaign strategy has degenerated into the mushrooming of tribal-oriented groupings, called “independent” candidates. The question is what is independent? According to Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, it is an adjective meaning ‘not influenced or controlled in any way by other people’.

In a democratic system, the emphasis is on transparency and accountability. If what I read is what I comprehend, the next question is ‘independent from what, and from who?’ Comrades and compatriots, Namibia is classified national and internationally as the land of the brave. Why? Because it is accepted by the Namibian people and international community that we together in unity, fought politically, diplomatically and militarily and defeated the most aggressive brutal apartheid colonial regime in Southern Africa.

Continues in the next edition