The Politics of Privileges

Swapo is a revolutionary party that wedged a bitter liberation armed struggle against the discriminative and racist white minority system. 

This war got the attention of the whole world that supported it through financially and materially by training fighters, clothing and feeding them. 

Some countries’ support was through lobbying for a helping hand towards the “soon to be a Namibian nation”. 

As a political party, Swapo Party soon enjoyed a massive number of members and sympathizers, both black and white. 

Even sympathisers in the judiciary system from the minority white population represented Swapo members in all legal issues the racist government was using to suppress the black majority. 

Anthon Lubowski (may his soul rest in peace), Hartmuth Ruppel, Dave Smuts and others. These are some of the many who dedicated their lives for the good of the country for generations to come.  

We also had the likes of the late businessmen, Nangolo dha Jacob and Eliakim Namundjembo, who also supported the cause through thick and thin. 

In many ways, the two operated like twins. 

Having been young then, I cannot recall when Jacob and Namundjembo were imprisoned together. 

The likes of the Lubowski’s and the twins voluntarily joined the revolution. They chose to become human shields for the sons and daughters of the soil. 

Many joined the bandwagon voluntarily those days to fight the common enemy and free the masses that were under the yoke of racists for a very, very long time. 

Although they volunteered, they were just picking up the baton stick from their ancestors. 

The forerunner generations of Namas, Aawambo, Zambezians, Damaras among others were the first to confront these racists a millennium ago.

Unfortunately, their tactics and techniques at the time were found wanting because they used the bow and arrow against guns. 

Like the saying goes, “the blood of omuntu man cannot spill in vain, their souls cried out loud, their souls came back to give the Generation Next that will strengthen the resolve that made them to take up arms. 

These ancestors knew how to make Generation Next a stronger people, they knew how to unite their people, and above all they installed loyalty and bravery in the sons/daughters of the soil. And they did that beyond tribal and racial lines. 

Although they had no financial resources of their own, the unity and discipline they had as Namibians encouraged the likes of Lubowski and The Twins to help the revolution to fight the racist system. Their combine resolve delivered independence, and the Nation, Namibia was born on 21st March 1990.

The foot soldiers and the leadership that time had developed an art of recruiting members to join both the mighty Swapo and the military, People’s Liberation Army of Namibia (PLAN) fighters. 

All were driven by the spirit of their departed ancestors to join the Party. The sons/daughters of the soil sacrificed their education, their businesses, and their families and above all, they sacrificed their souls to participate in the last battle against the last bastion of the colonial master on the African continent. 

The main driving force was a better nation, and a better Namibia. During the liberation war, all PLAN fighters were volunteers; all the leaders were given power by the people, the sympathisers come on board after appreciating the unity that the sons and daughters of the soil had shown to the whole world and amongst themselves.

Positions in government were only decided upon after attaining our independence. Those who got government appointments did so on merit. 

POWER has ALWAYS been from the PEOPLE. They could campaign the same way the foot soldiers and the pioneers of the liberation struggle taught them. Nobody was promised anything other than Independency for supporting the movement. Nobody was promised anything for extending their helping hand to the cause of the liberation struggle. AND, nobody was on any payroll. They made good what was available as a family. Nobody enjoyed a separate meal. They shared what they had, and supported each other despite their different upbringings. They never appreciated POLITICS OF PRIVILEGES.

During to the run-up of the last elections, they started seeing the complete deviation from the revolutionary principles of Swapo. The emerging politicians, who they thought had trained thoroughly on how independence had come about in Namibia, took over the roles that the yesteryear leaders and foot soldiers used to do to recruit and solicit for support both financially and materially. 

Although they were novices, they had confidence in the way they executed their assignments. If you speak to these emerging politicians, they seem to understand the Swapo constitution; they understand the meaning of all the words that are in that booklet.

SADLY, the emerging politicians do not understand how revolutionary parties, through their leaders and foot soldiers did their business back in the days. They do not understand that Swapo, as revolutionary party, is driven by volunteers and those who do not expect anything in return.

Revolutionary parties don’t place any financial figures for the support that its members render to it. This was the way and this is still the only way. All the leaders have been toeing this line ever since Swapo was formed. She has since elected three presidents in Post-Independent Namibia and the way of doing things have never changed. 

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Tate Sam Nujoma got his power from the people, so is Tate Pohamba, and so did Tate Geingob. When they were elected to those positions, the voluntary members of the party voluntarily supported the leadership of the day. No one was promised anything in return, and no one ever demanded anything for supporting the party and its structures.