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‘Team Swapo’- destroy and rebuild approach

10/11/2017
by Chris-Paul
Columns

 

The campaign for the top four positions in the Swapo Party leading up to congress towards the end of November is in full swing, and one thing we have learned so far is that the two opposing factions have two completely different messages. 

While the Harambee Team’s leadership has confined itself within the parameters of a friendly competition by insisting on ‘playing the ball not the man’, it appears like the so-called Team Swapo’s message is winning by any means necessary; even if it means destroying the party (and perhaps rebuild later). 

The fact is that the so-called Team Swapo’s action and message have been so detrimental to the party in many ways. It’s a well-known fact that both leaders and supporters have been tribalistic and divisive in their deeds and utterances. 

One simply has to look at the lineup of their candidates to see how narrow and less inclusive it is. This is what has led to their critics taunting them as attempting to take the party back to the days where others have worked hard to steer it from. 

Anyone who has been following the campaign must have seen or witnessed the incendiary rhetoric which has gone from downright hatred to the point of de-campaigning the very party they claim to love all so altogether. 

At their gathering last weekend in Oshakati, the so-called Team Swapo went on to blame not only the President but the party too for everything wrong in the country. 

Even though this led to some powerful and factual responses from pundits and others such as Rosalia Nghidinwa in which she broke it down point by point why current Home Affairs minister Pendukeni Ithana should not take credit of the successes of her ministry, there were some damages done to the party. They were trying to drive the message home that the Swapo Party along with its government has failed the party. 

Mind you; this is very Swapo Party and government that they have been part and parcel of since damn near inception. These are old guards in the same party and government that they are speaking of with so much disdain. 

A lot of people have been asking, where have they been when the party was being destroyed by one man? Or maybe two, because one other person they claim to have destroyed the party is its current Secretary General Nangolo Mbumba. 

With the congress dates fast approaching and reeling from the notion of having almost failed to amass a meaningful number of delegates to congress, the so-called Team Swapo has been throwing just about anything at the other group. 

Accusations have been flying, unlike their Harambee Team counterparts, the so-called Team Swapo leadership has been engaging rants that one would expect to be limited to supporters and foot soldiers. 

In their quest to apparently revive and restore the party, the so-called Team Swapo leadership have directed all sorts of accusation in the direction of their opponent, perhaps more to so President Hage Giengob. 

One would expect that these types of mindless rants and lies should be limited to people on the ground less accountable where the rules are entirely different, but it is worth noting that incendiary rhetoric and spreading lies about opponents have yielded political results in recent times. 

Maybe, just maybe, this is the new face of campaigning in contemporary politics. We have all seen how the current US president Donald Trump used incendiary rhetoric to his benefit during his presidential camping against Hillary Clinton. Not far away from home, we have seen the rise of toxic people such as Job Amupanda who used incendiary rhetoric to gain some popularity. One of the problems of using inflammatory rhetoric and lies to get reputation is when reality starts to kick in because it is only so long you can fool people. 

I think one thing worth noting is also that the so-called Team Swapo leadership has offered little to no alternatives and solutions with regards to taking the country forward. 

Theirs have always been on the offence, attacking the current President both on a personal and political level. The question should thus be, what are they going to do to revive the party and the economy? 

One would have expected that should have been the basis on their campaign. One would have expected they should be answering these questions. 

However, it is a well-known fact that once you have no solutions and nothing intelligent to offer, what you would resort to is personal attacks. Everyone can see that unless of course, we are purposely choosing to ignore the truth. 

Now here is that one thing I would like to mention before venturing further into my ‘Final Thoughts’ and that is the fact that their approach has been about to destroy and rebuild. 

The biggest problem is the wreck or rather the damage there are causing to others at the time of the campaign. The wounds they are leaving to others in the wake of their campaign will leave permanent scars to others in the party. 

This approach is going to leave breaches too big to heal in the future. Their leadership might be at their points in their lives where they haven’t got much to lose but what about the younger generation? What about the people they are blindly leading over a cliff? 

There has been talk that it is those who are part of the younger generation that has been leading the likes of Jerry Ekandjo and Nahas Angula in this type of approach. 

It is apparently the likes of the of Armas Amukwiyu, Vaino Nghipondoka, Eliah Ngurare, Desmond Amunyela and others that have pushed these seniors to the brink, but whatever the case this is a completion within Swapo. 

It is a competition, not a war because after the race comrades should be able to shake hands and work together to take the country forward. 

Unfortunately, there are those that have declared it a war, and there are those that are prepared to hunt down corpses on the battlefield and make sure they are dead for real. It is not a war, it is just a competition within Swapo, and you cannot try to destroy and rebuild something others have taken longer to build. 

It looks like when President won the race to be president of the ruling party, some people didn’t just lose an election, and they lost their minds. And those that are in their leaders have been exploiting that for power and profit this whole time. 

The supporters of one of the losing candidates did not turn introspective and then let bygones be bygones, they turned in anger at those who beat them, and no one has had more of that anger directed at them than President Hage. 

It’s revenge because to them President Hage is an accidental president, in their minds, someone unworthy of even the basic respect for the highest office in the country. Worse, they are stoking fears to the point that even the onlooker or casual observer is left with the impression they’re hoping someone might correct that accident. 

How else can one interpret this people continual equating of the President to the likes of the worst of presidents? Supposed journalists are stripped clear all standards to proclaim their outrage and biases. 

It is sad when you see those are supposed to be big names in the party reduce themselves to joining in song with those out to disrupt and destabilise our country. Let's face it. 

The anti-Hage machine has been busy, and their goal has been to divide our country and cause the Namibian people to lose faith in our system. What they are amnesiac about is the fact that the system they want people to lose faith in is the ruling party. 

Initially, telling success in that endeavour wasn’t easy to note, but I’m not too sure any longer if the same can be said at this stage. 

Because of their hatred for President Hage, they are willing to turn everything upside down to bring the party to its knees. Cause panic, exaggerate the negatives statistics, pin everything wrong in this country on him. They don’t care. 

Meanwhile, incomes are lagging behind soaring prices, and we have a significant number of impoverished and even hungry citizens. The country’s debt is showing slow signs of stopping to grow. 

Swapo is not in ICU if by some worst of chance it finds itself in one, there is no one to blame than those who are against the President. 

This conniving, further indulged by a complicit media is causing a distraction from the economic progress we so badly need to attain with great ideas such the Harambee Prosperity Plan and the fifth National Development Plan (NDP 5). 

A sitting president has never seen this resistance from the very people that were supposed to help him take the country forward. This should be the most damaging scandal in our history. The hatred for President Hage is beyond political opposition. It is a toxic blend of power-hungriness and greed generated hatred combined with mental instability. 

Moreover, with some politicians who pretend to be in Dr Hage’s corner clandestinely promoting disruption, they are not only eating away at the Namibian house but causing more harm to the psyche of the party than any amount of any president’s ineptitude could ever cause.

Those sabotaging Dr Hage know that the average Namibian able to find work is overworked and underpaid while struggling to maintain a healthy balance between life's necessities and current and future family prosperity, that’s why they are trying to limit the government’s potential through dysfunction, regulatory-burdens and controversy. 

This is degrading the very essence that holds us together as a nation. The difference between our President and them is there for everyone to see, while he seeks prosperity they seek vanity and power. 

They just know how to prey on the ignorance of the masses, who simply don’t know enough to understand what they see and whether much of it is right or wrong. These guys know how to prey on people’s ignorance, that’s why some people are falling victim to their ignorance. 

Their well-controlled media has been successfully projecting normal actions of government and President as if though they were criminal activities. Can you imagine the chaos if Dr Hage was the man behind the mass housing project? I submit it could have shifted from what it is to a crisis, as the President would be distracted by an emotional public.