The week in a capsule
WINDHOEK, Nov. 4 – The campaigns for four top positions for the 6th SWAPO-Party Congress is now in full swing. Thus, for the past two weeks, the candidates vying for the top four executive positions and the central committee positions were seen visiting the regions and the districts to canvass for support. Notably of these campaigns, are the two official endorsements President Hage Geingob’s camp also known as the ‘Harambee Team’ has received thus far, namely from the Erongo and the Omaheke regions respectively.
In their endorsements statements and following in the footsteps of the SWAPO-Party’s three wings, both two regions have denounced what they termed ‘two centres of power’ and called for all the delegates to the Congress to unite and to rally behind ‘one centre of power’ under President Hage Geingob.
However, not everyone received these endorsements in positive lights. Critics have pointed out that these endorsements are unconstitutional in terms of the SWAPO Constitution, and that they are fake because individual delegates will, at the Congress, vote with their conscience rather than as ‘voting blocs’.
This comes against the backdrop of a precedent campaign of ‘voting with a conscience’ as opposed to ‘voting as a collective’ within the sister-party, the ANC, which was resoundingly defeated in the South African Parliament in an attempt to unseat, President Jacob Zuma.
It is believed that ‘Team SWAPO’ otherwise popularly known as ‘Team Masalad’ will elaborate on these accusations during their Star Rally at Oshakati, on Saturday, the 4th November 2017.
For example, they are expected to indicate how these endorsements are unconstitutional and fake. The nation also highly anticipates that ‘Team Masalad’ will pronounce themselves clearly, as to the seriousness of their campaign team, which is composed of seven candidates competing for the same top four position not only against the ‘Harambee Team’ but also against themselves.
All political pundits have so far said that this campaign strategy was almost never seen before in the entire world. Thus, the nation also expects clarity on their choice of the name ‘Team SWAPO’ when the candidates they are competing against are also from the same party. This is against the background that the youth of this same camp have of recent days loudly and proudly pronounced themselves on social media as ‘Proudly Team Masalad’.
Thus, an observation can be made that while ‘Team Harambee’s message is now coming out loud and clear within a short space of time, especially on issues, inter alia of unity of purpose, eradication of poverty, women empowerment and advancement of the nation to further prosperity, thus far ‘Team Masalad’s message has been opaque.
Whereas, President Hage Geingob and his right-hand man, Secretary-General, Nangolo Mbumba have clarified and explained the accusations that are thrown against them, inter alia, running down the party, vandalizing the SWAPO-Party Constitution, not following ‘the pecking order’ when the Harambee slate was picked, etc, by refutation, ‘Team Masalad’s elaborate stance on the same issues remain outstanding. Thus, the nation highly anticipates how the ‘Masalad Team’ will pronounce themselves on what they are accused of; being tribal entrepreneurs, entitlement, greed, anger, power-hunger and so forth.
It is our view that political campaigns in a matured democratic environment must be based on issues that affect the populace. Thus, it is expected that at the beginning of the campaign a code of conduct is expected to be drawn up to which all the participating candidates are expected to adhere to and respect.
So far, only President Hage Geingob and his slate have been heard to call for ‘a fair campaign’ against each other rather than the ‘campaign of playing the man rather than the ball’ which is the campaign of vitriol and slander.
It is expected that all candidates articulate issues of unity of purpose, political maturity in the leadership and amongst the rank and file of the SWAPO-Party and also as to how the incoming leadership will help to strengthen and uplift the standing of the Organisation within itself in particular and within the country at large.
The nation therefore expects, all camps within the SWAPO-Party to play fair and to put the name Namibia above all factional interests. In the end, we believe that for the sake of unity of purpose within the Party and the country at large, it is now than ever before within the history of the SWAPO-Party that it is members and leaders must be seen and heard to shout their lungs out with a slogan, One Namibia, one Nation! Down with Tribalism! – Shampapi Shiremo