President Hage Geingob yesterday implored ruling party leaders to “bury” and end slate politics, which has left the movement deeply divided before and after the 2017 elective congress.
In a bid to eliminate the influence of slate politics, Geingob remarked that the so-called Team Harambee and Team Swapo should be buried for the sake of unity in the ruling party.
“If those names (Team Harambee and Team Swapo) are dividing us, here we are saying they are being buried now. If they are still there, they are being buried. That is the decision we took here,” Geingob said during the closing ceremony of the three-day introspection conference in Windhoek.
The introspection meeting was called following the performance of the ruling party in the last general elections, which saw Geingob retaining the presidency of the country with less than 60% of the national vote, while Swapo seats in the National Assembly were also reduced from 77 obtained in 2015 to 63.
“By coming together to introspect and to carry out a post-mortem of the 2019 Presidential and National Assembly elections, we did not only show to ourselves that we are able to adapt to changing circumstances, but we also demonstrated to Namibians that we care deeply about the issues they raised. Indeed, we have heard Namibians and as the party of choice for the majority, we have shown that we are prepared to introspect and assess where we went wrong in order to effect the necessary changes,” said Geingob.
According to the head of state, the gathering challenged leaders to critically look into the urgent question of the full implementation of the Swapo election manifesto.
“We have to deal without delay with the challenges of housing, health, education and equitable economic development. Definitely, we must give full effect to my decision on solving the crisis in informal settlements. What is currently happening in Walvis Bay in Twaloloka informal settlement shows that we cannot allow our people to live in such conditions. We regret the loss of life,” he said.
“The meeting challenged us to deal with the recurrent ghost of tribalism and factionalism, which undermines our cohesion as a party, and our ability to focus entirely on service delivery. Some comrades are abandoning solidarity and sacrifice because they look at the Swapo Party in terms of what they should gain and not what they should give to the party.”
The Swapo president also reminded party leaders to adhere to values and principles and not personal advancement.
“Corruption undermines the values and principles of solidarity, freedom and social justice, for which many sacrificed their lives. The meeting also challenged us to deal with the pressing question of youth unemployment and inclusion at different levels. Our demographics are changing and we have to expand opportunities for young people by ensuring quality services to scholarship holders and facilities in the education sector.”