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Fishermen, Fishrot and drought to sway by-elections’ outcome

Independent political analyst Ndumba Kamwanyah has said that the Fishrot scandal and the ongoing drought will once again play a part in swaying voters in the by-elections slated for Wednesday this week.

There are four by-elections in Khomasdal North, Walvis Bay Urban, Keetmanshoop Urban and Gobabis.

Kamwanyah said established political outfits are in for a tough ride as they lock horns with a horde of independent candidates, some of whom are still affiliated to the Swapo Party.

He opined that the drought scenario and government’s failure to be fully prepared for the crisis may see the ruling Swapo party struggling in the cattle town of Gobabis.

The drought has seen more than 88 000 livestock dying from 2018 until September 2019 although the government has been hard at work pooling drought relief aid for the most vulnerable.

At the coast, Kamwanyah said the fishermen have the upper-hand.

A deep-seated scandal in the fishing sector which hit Namibia’s headlines in the eve of the November 2019 polls rattled the fishing sector and saw Swapo left in sixes and sevens in the November polls at the coast.

“You know the issue of the fishermen and they know why Swapo lost Walvis Bay. The fishermen and women that were retrenched have learnt that Swapo was not there for them and that the government was not there for them when they faced that situation. They are the game-changers,” he said.

The founding President Sam Nujoma was over the weekend drumming up support for the party candidate, Sirie Tolupothana.

“They did not send the President there because those people are angry with the President and Swapo especially the top three. So when you send Sam Nujoma it is because he is revered and he is a historical figure,” said Kamwanyah.

The party also lost out in Windhoek and clinched to its traditional strongholds in the north where it came out victorious enough to secure President Hage Geingob a second tenure.

But Kamwanya is optimistic the poor showing by Swapo in Windhoek will replicate itself when the party contests in the Khomasdal constituency.

“The proximity to last year’s election is just a month in between. The same sentiment, the same feelings that propelled people to vote the way they voted are still there,” he said.

But this remains to be seen given that the party had a foothold in the constituency since independence and Margret Mensah-Williams was in charge before she resigned.

She is headed for parliament.

“The game is not Swapo’s game, for now, to be frank,” said Kamwanyah.

Wonder Guchu

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