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Race for Swapo SG under a microscope 

03/11/2017
by Chris-Paul
Columns

If we are to carefully study the matrixes and events surrounding the campaign leading up to the Swapo Party’s 6th Congress, the battle of the party’s Secretary General is the most crucial, perhaps even more so than the presidency. 

There are some reasons why that is the case, but I will get to those in just a bit. For now, I just wish to give a brief explanation on what the positions entail for those and why it is important for delegates to the congress to understand the imperativeness of their task in deciding the Secretary-General of the party. 

The position entails being the chief administrator of the party, dealing hands-on with the day-to-day activities of the party, which is both the heartbeat and spinal cord of the party. 

It goes without saying in all honesty that such a position requires many years of strategic, political and administrative experiences. 

In simple terms, the position is not for upstarts and amateurs. 

To properly execute the tasks of this position, one needs to have held certain executive positions, reached a certain level of experience at the high level with an imperative need of being academically qualified especially in this modern world. 

With that said, if we carefully study the two candidates currently vying for the position, Hon. Sophia Shaningwa and Armas Amukwiyu there is an asymmetrical relationship between them regarding quality and experience. 

There is a mismatch between the two candidates, with Hon. Shaningwa being highly qualified and Amukwiyu being miles away from being qualified. Hon. Shaningwa’s record speaks for itself, a trained and deployed PLAN fighter, been a board member of many organisations including the National Housing Enterprise. 

In the same year of 2003 when she became councillor of Windhoek West constituency, a stronghold of the opposition party of DTA, Hon. Shaningwa managed to turn into a fortress for the ruling party. 

She moved from that to governor of Khomas Region, a position she held for seven. And in 2010, when President Pohamba needed an active person to administer Omusati Region, guess who the President sent there? Because of her work in the region, President Hage promoted to minister in 2015, and that track record alone speaks volumes. 

Amukwiyu on the other failed Grade 12 and only attended the Swapo School for only one year as opposed to Shaningwa’s 10 years. 

Amukwiyu ascended to prominence after the 2012 congress, claiming to have nearly singlehandedly propelled President Hage to victory as regional coordinator, a claim that has since been disputed and finally refuted by many. 

I’m far from religion, but I believe that people who chase money and power without pursuing any good reason for it are always brought down by the money and power they are after. 

When God gives you a gift, he also adds a manual that should guide and show you how to use it, however, if you chase these things illegitimately without his authority you will end up throwing it because you can’t find a good manual for it. Judas sold his soul for thirty pieces of silver, Faust sold his for some extra years of youth, and Armas Amukwiyu sold his for money. 

It’s no question that Amukwiyu has sold his soul to lure of riches. He has completely lost focus of what it is to be a leader for a greater good and embarked on a greedy pursuit of money. 

That said, maybe the message to the President should be that it is hard to tell who has your back, from who has it long enough to stab you in it. In my opinion, Amukwiyu is nothing short of a traitor who betrayed those who care for the masses for his selfish gains. 

Defecting your support for someone for the betterment of your people is one thing, but for your greediness is another, and that’s the only box that can accommodate Amukwiyu. His reasons for association with these anti-Hage agents are sordid and despicable. 

Amukwiyu demonstrated that he is nothing short of greedy politician interested only in accumulating as much money as possible right now in the time of relevance. Now delegates to congress, does that spells like someone whom you want to give control of the administrations of the ruling party to?

It doesn’t matter how you answer that just make sure your answer still allow you to sleep peacefully at night and perhaps more importantly, is that you are still able to call your soul your own. 

We refuse to be fooled by them greedy ‘belly-fulls’ who have long been eating from their political connections and are now trying to monger fear among us merely because someone has chosen to stop them in their greedy tracks. For the first time in this country, we see a President turn against those with aspirations to be the Guptas version of Namibia and capture the state. 

The President is simply driving the message that it doesn’t matter who you know in high offices and who you are connected to politically, be it him or some other, from now onwards the Namibian resources shall belong to its entire citizens. There shall be no entitlements. 

Hon. Shaningwa has a lot of executive experience in the public and private sector both home and abroad, and it goes without a shadow of a doubt that she is the most qualified candidate for the Secretary-General positions. 

Aged 58, Hon. Shaningwa is the perfect candidate of the positional also because she is neither too young nor too old for it. Her vast experience and qualities tick all the boxes and her age provides a perfect shaft to pluck the generational gap. She possesses that rare ability of both the tact diplomacy and aggressiveness needed in tackling issues. 

Earlier I said I would give the main reason why the battle of the Secretary-General position is so vital, perhaps the most crucial. There is talk that the so-called ‘Swapo Team’ more interested in Secretary General because that’s where they see a realistic chance of winning.

The party’s president and vice can be President Hage and Hon. Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, but the so-called Team Swapo would still be able to enact and enjoy the influence of two centres of power to some degree but the virtue of controlling the administrations of the party the positions of Secretary General and Deputy Secretary General. 

Now this, as I said, to some degree will lead to what Team Hage is dreading the most, the likelihood of two centres of power. One more added advantage for the so-called Team Swapo is winning the Secretary, and Deputy Secretary-General is that it gives it unprecedented power for 2022 Congress. Before we could even go that far, it is important to note that keys to SG office allow one not only to control the operations of the party but in this campaign, there is an added kink. 

Because of Swapo’s adoption of the 50/50 policy, it is highly essential for Team Hage to win the Secretary-General position. If they lose it, their candidate for Deputy Secretary-General, Marco Hausiku who is a male will be forced to forfeit the situation to his female opponent Martha Namundjebo even if he had received more votes. In essence, as things stand with the candidates, an Amukwiyu triumph will just about automatically hand the position of Deputy Secretary to Namundjebo. 

This is why way Team Hage needs to prevent an Amukwiyu triumph taking shape, even though his team is trying to use all sorts of tricks to ensure victory. At the launch of the so-called ‘Team Swapo’, I witnessed a deranged rent-a- crowd stroke the egos of a group of sorry old men and women with broken values. 

It was a place where all political integrity, comradeship and decency were erased, replaced by terrible cruelty, dishonesty, insecurity and mindlessness, all the more unspeakable because it was so routine and so casual. 

With the group’s political ideals cabinet as bare as Nahas Angula’s head, the group’s only relevance is almost exclusively based on a few individual’s contribution to the struggle for liberation. They are trying to set out as factions united, but their unity bears all the hallmarks of an uneasy one. This is why honest critics pointed to an agreement made up of headless chickens, devoid of cohesion, awareness and often basic political sense and united only by your tribalistic and power-hungry innuendos. 

It would appear like their huge hunger for power robbed them all shreds of honesty and political integrity and their narcissism completely stripping them of the ability to evaluate the consequences of their actions. 

It was a shame and an insult to see them as leaders aiming so low, reduce themselves to puppets of the corrupt young. If their mindless rant is not reason enough why we shouldn’t take them seriously, there is more. 

After a stint in a ministry punctuated by dismal failure, Ekandjo’s time in the top flight of politics has visibly come to an end. Jerry has singlehandedly taken the term ministerial incompetence to new heights, or perhaps new depths. He has consciously opted to go from a hero of the struggle for liberations to puppets the corrupt and selfishly ambitious young. 

Its attempt to add more political credence, they dug up Ngarituke Tjiriange, who looked like he had crawled out of his grave like a character from a Michael Jackson Thriller music video, walked and talked like a zombie about Swapo not being the same. What he did not know is that while he was asleep in his self-induced coma called retirement, the ground on which the party tree was planted moved- it needed to keep up with the times.

Talking about Swapo not being the same as it used to be is hogwash. What it is that Swapo is evolving, it is keeping up with the ever-changing and dynamic world. Let me tell you what has changed, Swapo is no longer just a political party. It’s a lifestyle. In it, we have President who puts the interest of the majority of the population first, an upright man with unique values, principles, dignity, mental and intellectual abilities. 

President Hage is a man already making great strides in his first term and living up to the challenging responsibilities he has been saddled with. Even after he had beaten them, he made decisions that were selfless and considerate. 

Where they expect him to be quite aggrieved with the often undeserved negative attention that comes his way from the media, President Hage stands defiantly in the face of those that criticise him. 

And the difference is while they continue to reduce themselves to political parodies by playing the man instead of the ball, President Hage is relentlessly focused on the objective; taking Namibia forward. He is the fulcrum, the catalyst, the pivot - whatever you choose to call it. President Hage embodies the role.

It’s obvious both Jerry and Nahas, have presidential itches that have not been scratched; this is why I think the two of them should check yourselves into a mental asylum, so they can sit there quietly and play cards together while scratching themselves. That way, the two old men with broken values and principles would be doing this country a great favour. Swapo is not broken, you are, so please do not drag the party back to a bygone age from which others have successfully steered it away and turned it into a party that represents all Namibians.

The thoughts expressed above were done so independently. These are not the views of The Villager newspaper, but those of the writer.