Swapo needs a unifier, corrupt-free and ethical leader for 2024
BY MAX HAMATA
IF the Swapo-Party is to save itself from complete political annihilation and regain its popularity, the party needs to retrospect, set-aside self-serving interests and opt for a corrupt-free and ethical eventual Presidential candidate, if the party is to prevail at the 2024 Presidential and National Assembly Elections.
The Swapo-Party has endured intra-party rifts which has almost brought the governing party near a brink of losing popularity to break away political groups and need a unifying figure to reclaim its appeal.
Since the formation of Independent Patriots for Change (IPC), led by Dr. Panduleni Itula and Landless Peoples’ Movement (LPM), led Bernadus Swartbooi, the Swapo-Party’s popularity has dwindled away and this has seen the party lose key constituencies such as Erongo, Kharas, Hardap and Kunene among others.
The ruling party lost most of the Kunene constituencies in the 2020 Regional and Local Authority Elections. It lost four constituencies it had gained in the 2015 Regional and Local Authority Elections – Khorixas, Kamanjab, Opuwo Urban and Sesfontein.
Apart from the politics of victimisation and bullying, several influential heavyweights who have been sidelined have either quit politics and became or moved on to join break-way political parties which has helped to drift away large voting pockets from the party.
The politics of victimisation and alienation is a historical phenomenon in Swapo, and became worse during the formation of the Rally for Democracy and Progress in 2004 but more cracks have started showing with the subsequent break-away political groups in IPC and LPM which has caused sever dents to the ruling party, hence there is need for the party to take Namibian voters seriously and field a unifying successor.
Sentiments echoed by Swapo-Party Vice President, Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah that she is going to welcome back Swartbooi, Itula and Affirmative Repossession (AR) leader, Job Amupanda, are most probably just a positive step to re-unify the party and draw back its lost support but the party will have a long way to go to clear its tainted image of corruption as a result of the Fishrot Scandal and other high-profile corruption cases.
The Fishrot Scandal remain a potential threat to the ruling party’s influence on voters in the 2024 Presidential and National Assembly Elections, especially to those families have lost jobs as a result of the scandal, as demonstrated in the 2020 Regional and Local Authority Elections.
The fishrot scandal, combined with perceived escalating high-profile incidents of corruption has the potential to cause further damage to Swapo’s chances of remaining the governing party, if the party does not field credible candidates for the 2024 national elections.
Netumbo presents a clean corruption free record and her candidature would help reclaim the party’s popularity.