Unity crucial ahead of elective congress

THE purported disunity and tribalism characterising the ruling Swapo party is a worrying concern that cannot be naively dismissed particularly now that the party is facing a make or break elective congress next year.

Namibian Exile Kids Association (NEKA) secretary general Mao Angula this week said the organisation is worried over the high degree of “cancerous symptoms of disunity and tribalism” that have of late eroded the spinal cord of the former liberation movement. He went on to say that the organisation has observed with a sense of displeasure the imminent battle for the soul of the party.

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It remains a public secret that Swapo faces a difficult future amid a changing political terrain which has come at the backdrop of a weakening economic landscape owing to Covid-19. For this reason alone, the party cannot afford to let divisions and unhealthy contestation creep in and command the trajectory with which the party intends to approach the next elections.

As a publication, we have always said that weevils within the ruling party, those that have fanned division, claim to be custodians of the soul of the party, a vast contradiction from their distractive actions. Most of these charlatans have publicly soiled division but it appears that there is very little will from those in the authoritative positions to take decisive action against them.

The party needs to go back to the beginning where it premised its existence on robust leadership backed by a strong following that harboured no thoughts of defiance and factionalism. While political contestation is a positive thing, defiance of the party structures and fatigued members cannot be tolerated nor harboured as it may have the capacity to derail progressive reforms of the party as many disruptive forces are exploiting loopholes presented by greedy factional elements.

At the same time that these weevils appear to be prevailing, the party has a communication strategy that leaves a lot to be desired. No will or progressive actions have been implemented or at the very least are seen to be in place to allow for a coordinated flow of information that would bolster unity.

The central committee meeting last week in which President Hage Geingob was quoted out of context coupled with how the party dealt with the appointment of convicted rapist Vincent Likoro to Swapo’s new think tank shows the void in communication that needs to be addressed imminently.

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Now more than ever, Swapo needs to deploy a greater chunk of its resources towards the process of re-invention, image building and trust restoration. Perhaps the new think tank can assist the party but what is far more important is for leaders and various structures to find a common vision and future of the party and start working towards it together. As it stands, a cocktail of ideologies and future ideals have swallowed the party which signals a challenged future for Swapo.