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Saving an under siege and sickly Swapo

Fri, 7 July 2017 18:14
by Chris-Paul
Columns

The Swapo Party is sick and is currently under siege. Events leading up to the Swapo Party regional conferences already showed us how sick the ruling party is and the conferences are showing the exact symptoms of the disease that has engulfed the party.

For a lack of better term and perhaps in attempt to make use of a physical analogy, I will put it simple terms that the party is not only under siege, it has cancer. And without radical treatment, that cancer will soon be terminal. If there is anything we are learning from the Swapo Party regional conferences is just a how divided the party has become and how much party is under attack by forces with personal inclinations and selfish ambitions.

 Trust me no one is viewing what is happening as just casting votes to participate in political activities of the day, they sure know what they are doing and what their agenda is.  The force that I like to call the anti- Geingob has been in full swing, the force that is being led by selfishly ambitious and economic opportunists out to gain power and loot the country by any means necessary. They are lobbying and have been lobbying without shame, bribing cadres along the way and not leaving anything to chance.

 There have been talks about envelopes exchanging hands, but that is just a tip of the iceberg as the force has really been playing dirty in its attempt to gain control. We all witnessed just how they strategically positioned themselves to swing the position of treasurer, to mention but a few. Some of the processes were captured before they even started.  The party is rotting from within, and it appears like the rotten apples are spreading fast every week.

What started simply as a few disillusioned individuals out to sow divisions in the party has turned into a joint venture by forces with a grudge against the current administration. Despite all this what worries me most the passive nature and reaction of those calling themselves supporters of President Hage. The lack of cohesion and drive to fight their detractors head on.

 And for a longer period of time I have seen a display of trying to uphold a certain upward mobility. There is this narcissism of good behaviour among them that needs to be destroyed. There is a complacency born out of shock, privilege and inertia that makes the Geingob’s supporters think that keeping the dignity of decorum intact will somehow shame their rivals into behaving themselves and playing.  While supporters of the President are caught up trying to play the moral high ground, others are proving groceries and brown envelopes to gain support.

  If there is something we learned in recent times in world politics, is that trying to play fair is not enough at all. I’m not trying to insinuate that Geingob’s supporters should also play dirty, I’m just saying that they need to stop being complacent about it. Trying to play fair is the right thing to do and might make you feel good for being the better group, but it is not a suitable response and simply doesn’t work, particularly now when you face a challenge on the hard and tiring road to fight those trying to topple the current Presidency down.

  But the main issue today is trying to wrestle Swapo back from these trying to corruptly have a grip on it.  For months we have witnessed these detractors reel off a laundry list of unsupported accusations with an air of absolute authority.

They have united alright, united in a movement strategically stacked against Geingob, united in endless lies, the character attacks, the distortions of the President’s and his agenda. With government tender money-man Vaino Nghipondoka hovering in the shadows, the unity is definitely in spending inordinate sums to paint a nasty picture of President Hage, with propagandists with sophisticated techniques such as Lazarus Jacobs, Job Amupanda and Elia Ngurare, hell-bent at tarnishing the image of the President and his administration. 

Any impartial individual, having studied the dynamics around this force, wouldn’t help but see that the hyperbolic level of hypocrisy being shown is rather mindboggling. But it has gone past hypocrisy now, it has gone way beyond and its force is frightening.

 The whole nucleus of the Swapo Party is damn near captured by this rotten force; it is not the same any longer. They have worked hard on the regional level, they are working hard in their sordid agenda to push their way though. They bred a cloud of mistrust and suspicion among cadres in the party and are damn on course to getting their way. Then someone asked me this question last weekend. Is it too late for the Swapo Party to rid itself of these rotten apples?

Are the party’s best days of unity and being principled behind it? Can the under siege and sickly party be saved? One of the Swapo elders the other day stated that “The Swapo Party is all we have got, but truth is we are on the brink of losing it to economic opportunists and power-hungry forever.” Judging from what is happening in the regional conferences and what has been happening in the run to the conferences, it certainly feels that we are that close.

 But I guess the real question to anyone who has the best interests of this country at heart is; Has it passed the point of no return? And another real question is what can be done to save the party from the jaws of these power-hungry and economic opportunists?  We could all point to a virtual mountain of the anti-Geingob force and their actions that are currently on the up in the country, including the hi-jacking of regional elections that is currently en vogue right now.

We could all indict the party on many fronts. Yes, that is very easy to do. But I guess the most imperative question to answer by the cadres with the best interests of the country at heart and loyal to Geingob is that can the party be saved?  Can Harambee be saved? Is it too late for revival for the mighty Swapo party? Is the party ready to die? Now all these years since its inception, these questions are much more urgent. Does the party realize how much farther it fallen in terms of principles? Let’s not hide behind a false layer of democracy, rather ask ourselves the honest question that should President Hage as a non Oshiwambo president not get a second term, what message will it send in this country?

Will our peace and stability be intact, will we ever know a day’s peace and contentment after that? We need a sense of desperation and urgency. Do we have it? Are we praying and crying out and hoping we have enough cadres at the congress to ensure Geingob’s second term as now our chances hung in the balance? We need another great awakening, a massive, spiritual revival.

 But a real awakening will not come up without national desperation. How determined are we? How urgent is our determination?  How intense is our desire to not let this country go to the economic opportunists and the corrupt few?

Do we realize how sick the party is? I’m just trying to paint a picture of just how far we had fallen, and do so on just one newspaper page. It is not too late for us to move the party into the right direction unless we make it too late by our complacency and indifference. But if we actively work together to confront these economic opportunists and work hard against them with all our heart and soul, our best days could be ahead, as preposterous as that may sound. That is the mentality we must embrace in Swapo today in the midst of massive principle decline.

This country needs what President Hage has to offer, yet some are abandoning and betraying him for their own selfish gains and some because of the difficult hour of global economy. Without a doubt, the party is desperately sick, on the edge of spiralling into moral and tribal chaos.

But rather than throw our hands up in despair as they continue to win elections, we should recognize that this is the perfect opportunity for us to rise up in the truth and power of our togetherness in support for the President, bringing the message of prosperity and transformation to our very sick country. Let us view this as an opportunity for us to stand by the President.

By God’s grace, I’m determined to stand strong, to speak the truth and live the truth, regardless of cost or consequence, and to support the President in his fight against those who have corruptly enriched themselves in the name of the ruling party. I truly believe that Swapo can still be saved, but only if we do not minimize the urgency of the hour.

There are great signs in this country than we can still count on, our economy is showing positive sign of recovery, it is showing positive signs that we will crawl out of the economic downturn.  But with a proper major intervention and a total change of ambition and ideology, the prognosis is promising. How will we respond? Taking a pill and taking a nap will not cure our condition.

 Trying to eat a little better won’t reverse a mortal disease. The party needs an idea that will work now and fill it with great hope for the future. But it is a hope based in realism, since it will never get healthy unless the party realizes just how sick it is.