With tensions rising across the political spectrum following the recalling of ﬁ rebrand politician Bernadus Swartbooi, local analyst Dr Hoze Riruako says he has no political muscle to erode the revolutionary ruling party’s massive support base.
Exclusively speaking to The Villager, the political commentator submits that Swapo alone can destroy itself while the Swartbooi momentous sensation will fall by the way side just as other break-away-political parties and politicians have done. Swartbooi, former deputy to the Agricultural Minister Utoni Nujoma was sent packing recently after “despicable” tribal utterances in the south which did not augur well with party’s top dogs who felt he violated party principles. Riruako asserts that far from striking a fatal blow to the numbers of the ruling party, Swartbooi’s political activity will only save to erode the support base of established opposition forces from whose camp might come the majority of his minions.
“I doubt it very much; this is not the first individual to go out of Swapo in such a fashion. When we see a high exodus out of Swapo of such a high proﬁle person like Swartbooi, it helps to erode the support base of the opposition and not Swapo. That is the biggest problem in Namibia,” he says.
He adds, “Again, he will attract especially those that have been ridiculed within the party, those that feel ostracized and feel left out, those are the people that his exit will extract.”
In his analyses of the political charade currently playing out, Riruako afﬁrms that just like past renegade politicians like Muyongo, Shipanga, Ulenga and Shixwameni, Swartbooi is just capitalising on a topical issue to garner political mileage.
“To tell you the truth, the land issue is being used by everybody who is getting out of the party just because it is a topical issue. Everybody thinks that by bringing out the land issue people will support them. This is a phoney issue; it is one policy that I don’t think government handles to the satisfaction of the majority,” he says. In buttressing Riruako’s views, prominent Political analyst Phanuel Kaapama has further questioned,” What is different this time and how has the political climate changed?”
While he notes the aggressiveness of the ﬁrebrand Swartbooi, Kaapama holds that he will appeal more to the south than the rest of the country, a factor which will pose little trouble for Swapo. Whither the future of Swapo Hoze asserts that the liberation movement party has reached its deﬁning moment in its history where democracy has been ﬁrmly entrenched to the point of promoting voices of dissent.
“I think Swapo now as we are talking has reached a very deﬁning moment in its history. The important question that Swapo should be asking itself is how the party will keep its house in order. As you know the only thing that can destroy Swapo is Swapo itself,” he says.
He also says the party leadership should put the party interests ﬁrst before theirs and reinforce and entrench the existence and relevance of the party in an age of conﬂicting views and subversive political sloganeering. “They are gunning for their own political survival and future aspirations to the detriment of the party. When there is pushing and shoving there, the party should go to the very bottom of the problems that are being raised and address them,” he says.
With political divisions widening up at an unprecedented speed than ever before within the revolutionary political parties in the SADC, the future of Swapo in all this storm has been put to question. However, Hoze submits,
“There is a future for revolutionary parties in the SADC but one has to understand one thing, democracy in those countries has grown and I have been telling people in most of my analyses that revolutionary parties after 30 years begin to face opinions from people as democracy gets more entrenched. In the Swapo of yesterday, no one would question the party one way or the other. Swapo has a strict code of conduct for its members, there were certain things that you could not say or do in those days. To a certain extent that has subsided to a point that every Jack and Paul will want to kick Swapo whenever they want.” Want went wrong?
“Swapo made a very calculated mistake, they started the party school very late in the game. It should have had been started much earlier especially by independence to make sure that they indoctrinate and inculcate the noble and idealistic resolves of the party,” he says.
Whether there will be a formidable vanguard to carry the torch forward has been put to the question, and Hoze blames the present disloyalty manifesting as demonstrative of the failure by the party to harvest loyalty through the revolutionary school. “When people see democracy, they become too loose to say anything that they want,” he says.