The battle for the soul of Swapo
By Tulinane Obed Emvula Sr
AS the current election campaigning gets into a high and hot gear to garner votes for the unprecedented number of political parties in Namibia, every potential voter is surely imagining the best outcome for him or her, depending on their respective parties and presidential candidate choice. Do you have a clear understanding on why you are going to make that particular choice?
I wish to advise every Namibian to think with sound mind and not with emotions or anger triggered by personal circumstances and experiences. Social media is particularly rife, with some people taking swipes against Hage Geingob, therefore against Swapo – mostly for tribalistic reasons. They wish to blind people to Geingob‘s track record.
President Geingob is well qualified to represent us at the helm after the first and second presidents. His track record is loud enough to shame the tribalists amidst us. He founded the Swapo representation at the United Nations (where I worked for two years) in New York. He was entrusted with the responsibility to establish from scratch the prestigious United Nations Institute of Namibia, in Lusaka Zambia (UNIN).
He led the Swapo‘s crack team in 1989 to spearhead the first national elections in Namibia successfully. I too was within that team. He then spearheaded the drafting of the Namibian Constitution. He was the first prime minister of Namibia, therefore the leader of government operations in those years when Namibia enjoyed huge international respect. How does he suddenly become weak and inexperienced? How come he is now blamed for the economic woes?
Let’s grow up in our thinking and debating. If the thing is falling apart, the moles and woodworms did their job much earlier, as the government body was riddled with these cancerous bugs, whoever they may be. I am not saying Hage is scar-less, because none is. I am rebuffing unpatriotic attacks on him. He is just the head. The neck to turn that head should be there, and the arms, the fingers, the feet and all the body parts… what are they doing?
Swapo should no longer be in the business of promoting more partisan orientation. That, in fact, is the devil’s most effective weapon. Swapo should go ahead to unite all people of Namibia under a renewed and energised commitment to national solidarity, freedom and justice.
Swapo has a task to realize the one nation policy under one united and uniting regime. Division is never an option, because a divided house cannot stand. We will eliminate any out-group/in-group feeling amongst our people; hence the potency of the One Namibian House theme.
Social psychologists have established scientifically how to create divisions through creating groups. The moment you create groups, such as a soccer teams, they tend to develop in- and out-group feelings: ours and not ours. Observe then how that plays out emotionally in competition. Some can even die if their group loses due to emotive group feelings! That’s why Swapo chose unity for Namibia.
Independent candidate confusion
The independent candidate Dr. Itula is considered by some as a viable replacement of Swapo. Be aware, however, that everything has its time; a time to build and a time to ruin. Ruining Swapo at this point in time is not teaching her a lesson, but scooping what you could not stomach as a Namibian. The time to dislodge Swapo is not right. One has to understand what Swapo is, and that a time will come when Swapo will, by choice, fade away in order to shame the fallacy of the devious multi-party theory.
There could then be a formation of one national party of Namibia with viable machinery for internal checks and balances. That time will start when President Geingob has finished his term of office and finalised the cementation of the Namibian edifice, because appreciating the virtue of national unity will then be fully understood and growing cohesively by leaps and bounds, hopefully.
Please understand what Swapo is to Namibia today; it is not a paper to flip at whim. It was born as a spirit of liberation in 1960. To some Swapo was a terrorist organization, while to the majority it was a force to liberate them from foreign imperial rule, oppression and exploitation.
Today, even those who were associated with oppressing the people of this land are enjoying the fruit of the liberating spirit, Swapo. Although in flesh Swapo is manifested in the persons of Tshafiishuna Sam Nujoma, Hifikepunye Lukas Pohamba and Hage Geingob, and all those who call themselves comrades, in reality Swapo is a collective of all the people of Namibia who cherish liberty, freedom and independence in the true sense of the word. It articulates their aspirations and yearnings.
Namibia is fathered by Swapo and is thus a spiritual child of Swapo. A child will always be born with the nature of its parents. At this point in time that child, the true One Namibia, is still an unborn messiah; the mother is in labour. Meaning if you kill Swapo today by perforating it, you will kill the baby inside her.
It is true that the ideals of Swapo are not always fulfilled by its representatives, members and the functionaries in government. True, we may have indeed followed the fallacious desires of our flesh and defiled Swapo to the point where you now have an independent candidate promising to change the situation for the better. It is not wrong for such candidates to wish to fill the gaps, but they – and we the voters – must weigh up the pros and cons of their treacherous approach.
Candidates such as Dr. Itula in fact draw their essential value and potency from being associated with Swapo. That is their trump card. Without the association to Swapo they fold up like a flat tire. So they become excellent tools to explode Swapo from within, whether they realize it or not.
The enemies of our freedom and progress seek to obliterate any traces of liberation movements, so they can turn the wheel back to the era of imperialist exploitation. And Namibia and Africa do have viable, veritable enemies at this point in time: the rogue lions roaring to devour Africa for her resources and living space.
I just hope they are aware what they are in for. Such people could and would be an effective “Arab Spring” for Southern Africa in the hands of “the kind investors” who will never leave Africa to the Africans. The ugly live motion picture of Iraq, Libya and Syria threatens to become a reality in Southern Africa through these screwed up “democratic” means, exploiting the childish ignorance plus energy of the youth to destroy like an unmanned bulldozer.
The unsuspecting, inexperienced and therefore unwise youths have always been the tools of imperialism in modern times to explode revolutions from within by remote control, such as they were used in Libya. Their cry and misery will then follow; never to end again!
I am appealing to the youth and everybody hurt by wrongdoings within the Swapo-led administration to vote wisely; in their own future interests; shono Kalunga e ku pa ihashi liwa po kombwa kaya!
Very soon your set time will arrive to carry on what is good in the spirit of Namibia, if you will be better equipped to practice it. Don’t be over-hasty! Hoe meer haas, hoe minder spoed. Kokule kaku thikwa ngula, niishewe, oshiwanawa kashi za ngaa shili pukapala ka yela!
If the mentors and advisors of Dr Itula told him to use his Swapo connections as the most effective device to garner and acquire love and support from genuine Swapo members and the Namibian people in general, then they should know that it is a dishonest move. He runs the real risk of being disqualified as an independent candidate, unless he is officially fielded by Swapo as such.
He must stand in his personal capacity on all counts. Stealing votes from Swapo by masquerading as a member and then amassing those votes to his own individuality cannot be logically and legally correct. There cannot be two Swapo parties on the same platform. (Does the ECN realize that or is it only considering the right of a person to stand as an independent candidate and turning a blind eye to the contradictions?)
In his current position all the votes that he as an illegitimate candidate may garner on the card of Swapo membership and political recognition should be collected and transferred to Swapo. He can then fight for a presidential position as a man on his own account. That would be logical and legally correct.
Also, in that sense a new, strong, political trend could have been born for establishing a method of internal democratic checks and balances in Swapo. This tactic appears to be absolutely illegitimate. (I am not a personal enemy of Dr. Itula. I have not even met him yet.) I would be extra careful never to expose Swapo, and by implication the Namibian people, to the extreme dangers as he does.
Swapo established veritable peace and harmony among all Namibians based on its deliberate policy of reconciliation and forgiveness of the past. Whether black or white in Namibia, liking or disliking Swapo as an organization, they know as they go to bed that Namibia’s security and peace is based on a rock of Swapo’s fundamental spirit of unbiased oneness as a people. Everything you see and experience today in Namibia is fiber-linked to that Swapo spirit.
The moment you remove the power of Swapo from Namibia at this point in time, you will have nothing left but a territory with the Namib Desert in the south-western side of the Africa map. Everything will lose the meaning you attach to it today. The face and smell of your street will change to something strange. All kind of vampires will show up in that land of yours without Swapo, whatever it will be called. It will not be Namibia.
The army and the police will not be what you know today; and it is better to live with what you know until you find a smarter solution. Africa and the world will not be the way you knew them today through the eyes of Namibia. Mind you, Namibia is not like other African countries.
We have accommodated Europe here and the trends of Europe could and would overrun you for a fact, because you will not be in position to defend yourself against the outside economic, technical and military influences that only the aura of the Swapo spirit can handle effectively and positively, on the basis of international win-win equation.
(Shortened for space - Ed)