Swapo President Hage Geingob said he pins his hope on Swapo’s young cadres to ensure the knowledge and culture of the ruling party and the ethos of solidarity, freedom and justice remain at the core of its decision-making process.
Geingob said this while speaking at the party’s 61st anniversary and the inauguration of the party’s Kavango East regional office in Rundu on Saturday.
“The pioneers have set the example. They have blazed a path towards victory in the first phase of the struggle, bringing about political independence and freedom,” Geingob said.
“Having invested in our future generations, it is now time for you, as young cadres, to take the baton and blaze the path towards victory in the second phase of the struggle so that you can bring about the economic emancipation of all Namibians,” he stressed.
He said Swapo has always prioritised the grooming of young cadres for future leadership roles.
Many Namibian leaders, he said, are products of the United Nations Institute for Namibia (UNIN).
“Those that are not products have most likely benefited from the tutelage or mentorship of a student of UNIN,” Geingob said.
He said the practice of promoting the youth has been continued by Swapo – post-independence.
“Youth leaders who show potential and promise are filtered through the system by being given exposure as Members of Parliament, deputy ministers and governors,” Geingob said.
Today, he said, Swapo has a cohort of young deputy ministers like Jennelly Matundu, Veikko Nekundi, Kornelia Shilunga, Emma Theofelus, Heather Sibungo and Emma Kantema-Gaomas.
Some young Swapo cadres were also appointed as governors, such as Kunene’s Marius Sheya, Otjozondjupa’s James Uerikua and Erongo’s Neville Andre, whereas some others have progressed to become full ministers, such as minister of environment Pohamba Shifeta, information minister Peya Mushelenga and justice minister Yvonne Dausab.
“It is up to the young cadres I have mentioned and many others, including regional coordinators and young functionaries, to ensure that they are equipped to face the challenges of modern domestic, regional and global politics and socio-economics,” Geingob said.
“I urge you all to put all your energies and strengths into realising economic freedom for all Namibians as the main focus and priority of being Swapo party torchbearers!” he added.
He also called on Swapo young cadres to ensure they do not associate with, neither promote the retrogressive vices of corruption, tribalism, racism, regionalism and all the isms that cause disunity and endless internal strife.
“Where there has been tribal animosity, it will be finished. Let us not dwell upon the bitterness of the past,” he said while quoting first President of Kenya Mzee Jomo Kenyatta.
Geingob says where there has been racial hatred, Swapo young cadres should continue to fight to end it. “We have fought and sacrificed to liberate the people of this beautiful land we call Namibia. We have extinguished the wild flames of conflict and lit the torch of unity,” he said.
“It is a history that cannot be denied and a history that cannot be wished away. Through the process of reconciliation, we have committed not to dwell on the bitterness of the past,” he said.