Founding President Sam Nujoma did not mince his words when he spoke out against some ruling party members and supporters, saying he no longer wants to hear about Team Harambee and Team Swapo.
Nujoma made the remarks on Saturday during the opening of the two-day Swapo party post-mortem meeting, which started on Saturday, on the Presidential and National Assembly election 2019.
Harambee and Team Swapo are two factions within the party. The factions faced each other at the 2017 Swapo elective congress – ahead of 2019 general elections.
He advised party members they can only win if the party fields qualified and competent candidates – not because they are Team Harambee or Team Swapo, but because they are qualified, credible and competent in the eyes of the Swapo Party and that of the electorate.
“Let us not divide ourselves into factions but let us unite as one Swapo. I, therefore, do not want to hear any more of Team Harambee and Team Swapo. There is only one Swapo of Namibia. We cannot afford to have such glorious history to be tainted by greed, as this will drive the people away from Swapo,” Nujoma remarked.
He said the party is painfully at a crossroads, adding the dynamics and moral glues that have held them together are sadly waning away before their eyes.
“After having lost our two-thirds majority and 14 seats in the November 2019 elections, we must bounce back and win over the hearts and minds of our people. The beginning, in this regard, is the upcoming Regional Councils and Local Authorities Elections slated for November 2020,” he directed.
Similarly, he said Swapo seems to have lost the youth, which is the backbone of any growing political party – and this has serious implications for Swapo’s political growth and dominance.
“If this trend continues, we might end up losing some of the strongholds of Swapo as it happened in Walvis Bay and when we narrowly won in Ondangwa. We must never use Swapo for self-enrichment or as a springboard for positions, as doing so is a betrayal of all those whose blood waters our freedom,” he warned.
Nujoma said it cannot be business as usual – as if nothing wrong happened.
“Perhaps, we should look at other sister parties in the region and see how they are doing as far as the requirements for leadership positions are concerned? Let us ask ourselves soul-searching questions and self-correct before it is too late. In doing so, the critical question we should ask ourselves should be: are we upholding the original ethos, values and principles of the Swapo party or we have deviated and are busy creating our values based on factional politics?”
He stressed Swapo must seriously address this issue head-on to save the party.
“Together, we owe it to posterity to ensure that the Swapo we bequeath to succeeding generations tomorrow is far better and stronger than it is today. History will judge us harshly if we become accomplices in seeing Swapo going down to its knees in our lifetime,” he reacted.
He said the party constitution should reign supreme over personal ambitions.
According to Nujoma, it is only through unity, tolerance, mutual respect, collective leadership, fairness and the upholding of the constitution that they can move forward and continue to rule the country, as well as keep the peace and stability in Namibia
Additionally, he cautioned the party must refuse to be drawn into tribal and factional politics, as tribalism, factionalism, regionalism, individualism, ethnicity and other reactionary and retrogressive tendencies and vices are the real enemies of the people.
He vowed Swapo must unite the people of Namibia, irrespective of race, religion, sex or ethnic origin into a democratic, vibrant and peace-loving nation, as well as foster a sense of common purpose and collective destiny among the Namibian people.
“The strength of our party has always been built on the strong foundation of unity of purpose and action. I, therefore, urge all Comrades to this introspection meeting to deliberate openly and ensure the implementation of the Swapo party political programmes and manifesto,” he concluded.
2020-07-27 09:00:05 | 16 days ago