By: Eba Kandovazu, Justicia Shipena
Swapo president Hage Geingob on Thursday said that Swapo is not dying and that party members should tell those who think so to go to hell.
He said those leaving its ranks because they think it is dead would not be missed.
“Swapo dying? Where? When I looked at you, when I came in, how you behaved, that is Swapo dying? Is Swapo dead? You are dying? Tell them to go to hell.”
The President was speaking at the opening of the 7th Swapo Party Youth League congress in Ongwediva.
He added that the party would also not miss counter-revolutionaries, racists and tribalists. “There are those who are now ashamed to be associated to Swapo.”
Geingob also took a jab at opposition parties.
“They cannot even run a municipality. They are expelling each other left and right. I was talking to my colleagues, “let them lead, you will see in six months. Look at them now. Which other political party can bring this big number of people together overnight? Swapo dying? Where? Are you dying? Tell them to go to hell.” He said.
Geingob was accompanied by deputy prime minister Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah and other cabinet ministers and representatives from Cuba, Venezuela and Palestine.
“The youth make up the largest percentage of Namibia’s population. In that vein, we should continue holding hands and prioritise our young people to become generational leaders. The ministry of sport, youth and national services, as a custodian of youth affairs in the country, has made commendable efforts through the third National Youth Policy Swapo has always been the home for the Namibian youth who have dared to dream. In 1960, when this party was formed, the youth who dared to dream of a free and independent Namibia, infused Swapo with the energy needed to spearhead the liberation struggle,” he said.
He added that today’s youth are called upon to emulate a generation of young freedom and dare to dream of a Namibia defined by economic development and prosperity.
“For as those who dared to dream yesterday are the leaders of today, so those who dare to dream today will become the leaders of tomorrow. Prepare yourselves in order to lead. You cannot be a drunkard and expect to lead.
I have stated that the Swapo Party Youth League is an embryo through which the young revolutionaries are groomed. This is where the young people’s political teeth are sharpened. Those who are tasked with carrying on the progressive and revolutionary agenda of Swapo are the Swapo youth who emerge from the ranks of this vibrant and militant wing,” he told the congress.
Meanwhile, founding President Sam Nujoma and former President Hifikepunye Pohamba also delivered speeches in absentia.
Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah said the youth is responsible for carrying a torch of national unity in the party and the nation at large.
“Being the only way they will be able to pass a healthy nation to following generations and theme of the congress tells it all,” she said as she introduced Geingob to the podium.
The congress was held under the theme ‘a united youth striving towards economic recovery, employment creation and sustainable development, with 121 districts of the youth league attending the congress.
At the same time, she asked the members of SPYL to take into account at every stage the provisions of the Swapo party constitution, adding that: “Being the only way you can respect whose blood waters our freedom, defend our independence, be the true transmitting belt, uphold our ideology and build Namibia in which everybody wants to live in.”
Nandi-Ndaitwah added that the past two weeks demonstrated that Geingob could not comprise when it comes to unity.
“We have a person that does not comprise on unity, and there is no reason why we must undermine the importance of unity in our party,” she said.
SPYL’s secretary Ephraim Nekongo said they need to speak one voice at a time as a party. Nekongo describes the next three days of the congress as ‘busy’, adding that there would be discussions that will lead to the completion of the SPYL’s resolution.
“We have equally enjoyed serving you as members, supporters, and sympathisers during our flight from 2017 – 2022,” he said.
Nekongo has led the youth league alongside deputy secretary Christine Haindaka since 2017.
Former SPYL Veikko Nekundi, reading a speech on behalf of former party president Hifikepunye Pohamba said the congress is an opportunity for the youth to exchange views so that solutions are found.
“We must make an effort to come together to learn from one another and share views amongst ourselves. I am convinced that the approach of coming together will make a difference because it enhances the sense of inclusivity,” he read.
Nekundi continues to read: “When voting for young leaders, you should know that the leadership of the Swapo party has always been about collective effort and not an individual strength. We should therefore support the elected candidates and avoid unnecessary infighting and strive among SPYL members.”