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Geingob: Swapo’s class is permanent  

2022-08-01  Edward Mumbuu

Geingob: Swapo’s class is permanent  

Swapo has not veered off its original mission, but instead continuously adapts to contemporary realities to remain at the forefront of fighting for social justice and economic emancipation for all. 

“Swapo has not changed. The world has changed, or perhaps it is you who has changed, but not Swapo,” were the words of President Hage Geingob on Saturday while opening the seventh ordinary congress of the Swapo Party Elders Council (SPEC) in the capital. 

Geingob, seemingly hitting out at Swapo defectors and detractors, said the former liberation movement remains true to the pursuit of its fundamental ideals for social justice and liberty.  “Some have started to claim that the Swapo we have today is not the original Swapo and, therefore, they want to introduce foreign philosophies and policies such as two centres of power in Swapo, which will only cause division and confusion, and lead our members astray.”

The two centres of power phenomenon refers to a situation where the sitting Head of State and Swapo president are two different individuals. But both are from the same party. 

This simply means the Head of State will report to the Swapo president on party issues, and vice versa. 



This will not happen under Geingob’s tutelage. “How we ensure that Swapo prevails and turns the promise of prosperity into a reality for Namibians is the matter that should preoccupy our minds as the leadership of the party. The most important factor is the maintenance of Swapo party unity,” he stressed.

To show that Swapo is ‘here to stay’, Geingob pointed to five waves of defection by Swapo
stalwarts, which tested the party’s resilience.

They are the Andreas Shipanga, Mishake
Muyongo, Ben Ulenga and Ignatius Shixwameni [formation of CoD] and the Hidipo Hamutenya crises [formation of the Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP)]. In 1976, young members of Swapo’s military wing – the People’s Liberation Army of Namibia (Plan)  – under the influence of Shipanga, the then secretary of information for Swapo, allegedly attempted to march to the Swapo office in Lusaka, Zambia to kill Swapo leaders. They were fed-up, as they believed the movement was taking an elitist posture at the expense of the revolution. It became known as the Shipanga Rebellion. 

A group of Plan fighters, accused of plotting the coup d’état, were arrested and detained in concentration camps in Zambia. 

Those fingered in the plot have denied the claims. 

According to them, their aim was to demand the drafting of a Swapo constitution, the provision of modern weapons, and for Swapo to stop providing weapons to Unita. For the first time, Swapo was tested internally then. 

The latest was in 2007 when Swapo heavyweights, including Hamutenya, Mike Kavekotora, Kandy Nehova, Jeremiah Nambinga and Jesaya Nyamu left the party to form the RDP. 

“But why is Swapo still going strong and vibrant today? Because the Swapo that we joined with the founding father, Dr Sam Nujoma, has stayed the course in its commitment to unity,” Geingob said. 


Swapo’s business

Geingob then lashed out at ‘scholars and cadres’ who are suggesting that the current Swapo must be brought back to its original status, telling them to mind their own business as Swapo remains a vibrant party of unity. Those who pray for Swapo’s demise cannot advise the party, he added. 

“Why try to advise us that Swapo is losing and we must be careful? Mind your own business… We will organise our own party and maintain our unity.
We are not in trouble for the first time. Let those who are tired go and the committed cadres remain,” said Geingob. He then urged party members to intensify their efforts to consolidate Swapo’s position as a people-centred party by bolstering its leadership through continued commitment towards the party’s ideals of solidarity, freedom and justice.

“We are not each other’s enemies. We are comrades and should always pull together, in the same direction, as Swapo party members,” he urged.

At the time of going to press, the results of the SPEC congress had not been released. 

– Additional reporting by Nampa.

2022-08-01  Edward Mumbuu

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