Well, well, well guess who is back … it is none other than the Malaria doctor himself – Richard Kamwi. Like they say, in politics nobody dies but people just take a back seat before they can try again.
There is one thing the good doctor was good at – gracing the dance floor and going down when Ndilimani takes to the stage. He is a jolly good fellow this good doctor. It is rare to come across people of the good doctor’s nature who are jocular and abrasive at the same time. Welcome back. This is the man who announced Jerry Ekandjo’s candidature for the Swapo Party vice presidency in 2012 and officially launched that campaign.
As expected when Jerry’s candidature failed to yield any fruits, the good doctor found himself out in the cold and gasping for doses of air. It appears he has finally found the air as shown by his sudden re-emergency in the past few weeks. First, he made headline by claiming that some of the projects being included in the Harambee Prosperity Plan were his. He singled out the health extension programme.
Then we saw him at the Founding Father Sam Nujoma’s 88th birthday where the youth handed over a birthday cake to celebrate and indeed he did not miss the handover of the clinic at Etunda on Saturday. The man wants back and it seems as if he will not stop at anything to get back. It happened that when some cheeky youth asked arch-enemies Elijah Ngurare and Nangolo Mbumba as well as others should pose for a photo together as a show of peace, I heard Richard Kamwi gasp and remark that it [peace] would not work. I looked at him and thought to myself whether his thinking is also the thinking of several others who find themselves struggling to survive within the Swapo Party today.
What I saw in Richard Kamwi’s eyes is fear that if Swapo politics becomes inclusive, there will not be enough space and seats for everyone. This is one why he gasped and remarked that the prospects of unity among those fighting factions will not work. If some of the youth who called each other names and swore at each other in 2012 can find common ground, what cannot make the same youth find reason to work with their elders? The answer is very simple: some elders who think that such unity might scatter their chances of getting back or that their chances of getting a bigger slice are diminished will ensure that this does not happen.
The Founding Father’s birthday was a perfect ground for uniting all the warring Swapo factions. We believe that the Founding Father himself would love to see the party that he fought to keep together for 57 years intact. Like a father he is, Sam Nujoma would not love to see his children fight over positions when all what everybody should be doing is work hard to build the economy and provide for the nation. This also goes to those who believe that the Founding Father will support them when they seek to destroy the party he spent all his life building and for which he sacrificed his youth and family.
In fact, the right thing to do is using the Founding Father as a building block for peace and unity within the party and among all the tribes. After all, is this not what the Founding Father referred to when he coined the One Namibia, One Nation phrase? Even when he said that Namibia has risen to its feet in his inauguration speech on 21 March 1990, the Founding Father did not say this rising should be for fighting each other.
There would never be any better birthday gift all these fighting Swapo factions can give the Founding Father other than ending the squabbling within the party today. While it is not deniable that wherever there are people, there is bound to be some disagreement, these should not be left to degenerate into the prolonged standoffs we see in the party today. Having said this, one then would need to question the motives behind people like Richard Kamwi who tail the youth at a time like this.
Are these old men not supposed to act as glue to the party rather than being the objects that widens the gap within the party? Understandably, nobody would love not to be credited for the job they would have done, but again whatever happened to the biblical do not let the left hand know what your right hand is doing? I am talking about humility! We know that being out there after years of enjoying all the state comfort is not cool but to be desperate and seek to claim all the glory is also not cool.
This is what the good doctor is doing and has done with the health workers programme that was launched by the ministry of health under the Swapo government. As a minister, the good doctor was just an appointed head who oversaw such projects. Isn’t this why when he left, he could not and did not take the project with him? It does not belong and never belonged to him but to the people of Namibia. We find such acts of desperation nauseating and foolhardy for a man who is not in a position to make demands.
The good doctor must sit down because five years is a lifetime for a politician to be out in the wilderness. We are well aware that the good doctor turned 67 years this year and that time is running out on him. But he should not be so desperate.
Enough of the warnings and now to a lighter note, we missed the good doctor’s footwork. He is one man who never misses an opportunity to hit the ground dancing. Like the South African president Jacob Zuma, the good doctor brings some lighter moments to Swapo’s somber politics. Having said this, if at all the good doctor is back, indeed it seems he is back, we have great entertainment waiting for us in the months to come.