The Manifesto of the South West Africa People’s Organization (Swapo) last weekend is a good document on paper but leaves a lot to be desired as some of the policies the party is raising having been on their agenda since dawn.
Perhaps the inefficiency of opposition politics in the country is blame for such an anomaly.
The Swapo manifesto has more promises of continuing what they have been doing rather than mentioning new initiatives or projects. That’s not a problem if you think what Swapo has been doing these years has been successful. But on the other those that think Swapo hasn’t been successful then I am afraid that will continue for the next four years or so.
Swapo’s vision is probably summed up better by the outgoing president, Hifikepunye Pohamba who said, “The challenge facing Namibia in the election is whether we will continue to build on what we have started, or risk losing the gains of our hard won struggle independence, progress, peace and prosperity of the past 24 years.”
In their Manifesto Swapo also spent more time highlighting what they have achieved under the headline, ‘We have a sound track record’. And of course top of the We have a sound track record is the peace and security in the country which Swapo has been preaching for many years. Peace and security is mentioned twice more than the economic independence is mentioned.
On the Economic Growth and Job Creation the Party perhaps rightly so attribute the highest imbalances in income distribution to the inherited socio-economic deficit of the country. While the party might have a point on the inherited socio-economic deficit, at 24 it’s high time such statements starts to fade in the coming Manifestos.
On the Agriculture and Food Security, the Manifesto states a key priority of the Swapo Party Government during the 24 years has been ensuring food security for the nation. It further states that they focused on ensuring that food security was addressed at national and household level.
The statement above is likely to leave many people laughing especially the opposition parties due to the fact that more and more cases of people starving keep on surfacing.
On the Mining and Energy, Swapo comments on the continued refinement and implementation of policies, law and strategies to reform the mining sector so that Namibians own a substantial share in the industry and the disadvantaged Namibians are substantially represented in the top management structures of mining companies.
Swapo has to dig deep if it aims to achieve that in the mining and energy sector because as far as Namibians people are concerned mining companies continues to ship the Namibian dollar outside the country neglecting the local development in the process. Swapo also has to dig deep if it wants Namibians to be represented in top management structures because being appointed as an executive in a foreign owned company is one thing but signing or taking control of the operations is another thing.
The Manifesto also falls shorts of commenting on the escalating housing prices focusing instead to talk about the “well-maintained infrastructures are critical to the stimulation of economic activities which can boost growth and employment creation.”
The Manifesto then talks about the Human capital development and deployment stating that their vision with regard to human capital is that Namibia should be characteristics by a high quality and internationally recognized education system that will help Namibians to meet current and future demands for skills and innovation.
The Manifesto however missed to point out which internationally recognised system and in which countries the Namibian citizens can get this education. This comes at a time where Namibians are seeking education refugees in other countries because their points don’t meet the requirements of Polytechnic or of that of the University of Namibia. To put it in plain language to go study in Ukraine or Malaysia with 15 points from Grade 12 you will not get internationally recognized education system or are you? . . . I will let Swapo answer that.
Just to prove that Swapo is just willing to continue rather than to look elsewhere, the party says they will continue to encourage the willing buyer-willing seller principle. For how long will the people have to wait for the seller to be willing? That system is failing and will only benefit some people, Period!
Although the Manifesto talked about Youth development and Empowerment it failed to talk about Culture as one of the integral part employed and proved in so many countries. Could be that Swapo doesn’t see Culture or Sports as a tool to drive the countries’ economy to greater height or it didn’t just cross their minds? Countries like Nigeria have taken this system serious to the point that it help drove their economy to be ranked number one in Africa.
0n the Foreign Relations and International Cooperation Swapo played it safe without mentioning anything to do with China but they didn’t need to because they know China is their friend and will always come in the country, sell low-quality products, pay the local peanuts and make them dispose of their faces because them (Chinese) won’t use public toilets.
Swapo must be complimented for maintaining the consistency in terms of peace and stability but at 24 economic independence should be top of the agenda, or else the country will still be talking about peace even at 50 years of independence.