Swapo strategists need to re-focus

THE daggers have been drawn within and outside Swapo in the presidential race and therefore a strategic re-focus has also become imperative for the ruling party if it harbours any hopes of President Hage Geingob’s retaining his seat at the helm of the country.

As bids for the top job in the land of the brave have heated up, the think tanks in the ruling party’s engine room seems to be experiencing key lapses and engaging themselves in trivial politics of name calling rather than placing emphasis on how Geingob has courageously elevated our country in his first term of office.

Such should be the key driver of Swapo’s campaign owing to the fact that, while other candidates have only manifestos to lean on, Geingob has a lived experience where he has tangible results which in all fairness have placed Namibia on a positive path to economic prosperity.

It is a public secret that when Geingob resumed office in 2015, our country was reeling with corruption in public procurement, inflated capital projects were overburdening the public purse and our debts were visibly unsustainable.

As we approach the end of Geingob’s first term of office, his credible, timely and consistent policy actions have seen the budget deficit narrow from 8.1 percent of GDP to about 4.1 percent, expenditure aligned to revenue, steep growth in public debt settled  at 11.2 percent annually which is far below averages of 30.1 percent  during excess volatility in income four years ago and expenditure on the social sectors has been ring-fenced, and social safety nets strengthened, to guard against significant reversals and enable continuous provision of essential services.

As attested by Finance Minister Calle Schlettwein in his mid-term budget review recently, Geingob administration has also been able to ease recessionary pressures in the sectors of wholesale and retail trade, construction, public education and health while international reserves, in terms of import cover, have improved to above four months, relative to the international benchmark of three months of import coverage.

We have always known that a key strategy of dirty politics is raising false dust so as to cloud national focus and vision or to blur a clear identification and knowledge of who the real enemy is. This is the same kind of politics that Geingob’s camp should never fall into but focus on politics of policies, ideology and progressive discourse.

Geingob’s strategic team must find time to go back to where it all started and be reminded that when Geingob started his presidential term , one of his prime fundamental ideologies after the explicit war on poverty was to have a transparent reign and administration, having nothing to hide and investing in wide consultation if need be.

This same principle was coined on the premise that democratically elected governments are accountable to voters and their processes are open to public scrutiny and at same time privatization shuts the public out of decision-making that deeply affects the public interest. In this regard, the focus should always be on sharing why Geingob deserves a second term. And this is the one main thing that separates Geingob from his rivals.