Former youth minister Kazenambo Kazenambo believes the next president of the country should be female. This and many more in part 2 of our interview focusing, among others, on the outcome of the just ended regional council and local authority elections.
KT: What is your take on the just ended regional council and local authority elections?
KK: These elections demonstrated how Namibians perceived this nation. Where we are now, we have arrived at a destination where people are tired of empty slogans. So, if we are here, where do we go? We need to go back to the drawing board, because the next stage we wouldn’t want to think about it.
These elections showed us that we are exactly knocking at the gate of the next stage. Now is either you engage them, or they march to the centre, saying they have been excluded too much and now they are going to grab everything.
People are at a stage where they don’t care whether you call them tribalists or not.
Let us deal and address issues of tribalism. Now, we are at a stage where we need to engage each other. Let us find a common language, to say realistically what are the issues that have been eating these people.
We have issues that need our urgent attention, common understanding. Let’s accept the reality that there are no so-called majority and that majority rule.
KT: Do you think your party Swapo has the right people in leadership and structure positions?
KK: Swapo leaders were democratically elected, so my concerns are not who occupied what, because as a democrat I respect democratic processes.
What I know is that some of them are the greatest liability to the party because they cannot articulate anything on Swapo.
But you know, the biggest problem, it is not only about Swapo, it is about governance in the country.
The focus should not only be on politicians because politicians are not running anything, technocrats are the ones running the country.
Now that they know that there is no checks and balances on them, and the focus is on politicians and political parties, they run government institutions as they please.
They are the masters of corruption, some of these executive directors run ministries as they please because they know the focus is not on them but on politicians and political parties.
Also, the other problem is the deployment of people in the right positions. Sometimes you will find that a grade 10 dropout is deployed to run a municipality. What do you expect from a grade 10 dropout, do you expect him really to run a municipality successfully? Really?
This is a person who should meet his/her counterparts from China, London, South Africa, people with degrees, they sit with these guys of ours (grade 10 dropout), the guy is taken to a restaurant he is waiting for a meal, he doesn’t understand these businesspeople, he doesn’t understand anything, he waits to sign a tender so that he can get something.
So, we need to know where to place our uneducated leaders. We must know where to deploy them, let us not throw them in deep ends where they are expected to give reports while we know that they are unable to. We are doing a disservice to our country. So, if we can address these issues, we will be able to solve the problem of service delivery.
KT: In 2012, you made clarion appeal for a ‘non-Oshiwambo president’. Who do you think should be the next Swapo president?
KK: Swapo has got a structure at the moment, and we will soon pronounce ourselves on the matter.
It is up to Swapo to decide who the next president is, the reason I said we should go for a ‘non-Oshiwambo president’ at that time was exactly the same thing that we (Swapo) are facing today.
And again, when I called for a ‘non-Oshiwambo president’ at the same time also called for a woman president but some tribalists decided to focus only on the non-Oshiwambo element and left the woman president part out to concentrate on the non-Oshiwambo part to advance their tribal agenda.
Back to your question, on Swapo top structures you have got women, you have got Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah as the vice-president, Sophia Shaningwa as a secretary general and a male deputy.
So, you already have women in top leadership. So, my wish is that the party go for a woman president, I don’t care who, it can be Ndaitwah or Shaningwa as long as it is a woman. My preference is that one of these top women take over.
Both Ndaitwah or Shaningwa are well educated ladies, they have degrees, and they hold various key positions in government, so they are capable of running this country.
I am not happy, but who am I, I am not happy that we repeat the same quarrel… division…just like in 2012.
What we are hearing at the moment is that there is division, division within President Hage Geingob’s slate and you know I am not from that slate.
What we are hearing and what we see on the ground is that they are already divided, what a shame.
So, a slate was to exclude other people or what? Because this is the same group - what went wrong?
The slate is there, if he
(President) must push for one of these women let him do it. The more Swapo is divided the more we are sinking. I am tired of quarrels; the slate is there; they must choose from the slate to avoid more division.