The recent counter-revolutionary machinations in the ruling party Swapo pose a threat to cracking the party into unwanted pieces, instead of a united front, ahead of this year’s national elections.
Directives on deployment of councilors, defying these directives and recalling those failing to toe the party line dominated headlines in recent weeks, leading to a crunch meeting chaired by President Hage Geingob this week.
Some councillors even threatened to sue the party for recalling them, an episode which, if not nipped in the bud, would wash the party linens in full public view.
Swapo adversaries, as weak as they generally may be, would have a field day watching the party they fear strongly tearing itself to shreds over issues fueled by egos and factional fights.
It is not our place to pass judgment on who is right or wrong in this yawn-inducing fight, but Swapo represents the best hope of many Namibians.
Thus, when not all is well in its body and soul, the aspirations of many citizens risk being inadvertently pushed to the peripheries of the party’s priorities.
The masses dream of a Swapo whose leaders at all levels wake up in the morning to find solutions to their challenges, and not to craft ways to outmaneuver their peers in a contest that is brewing underground.
Having been mandated by more than 80 percent of Namibian voters to carry them into the future, Swapo cannot afford to fall off the tracks of delivering prosperity and social justice to the populace.
Inevitably, the party has to strike a balance between its preparations for elections and fulfilling what is pending on the promises it made to the people five years ago.
Also, when there is a clash of perspective, which is expected in any functioning mass movement, the party must find swift ways in which such is resolved with minimal impact on unity and reputation of the organisation.
Spats among party members and leaders only serve to erode the party’s ability to lead society.
Perhaps importantly, the party must refine its processes, especially those guiding reshuffles of councillors.
Failure to do so would only perpetuate defiance, especially when the party seems to lack properly laid-out procedures in its constitution on how to handle matters of this nature.
The processes must be solid and not susceptible to abuse in factional fights. When removing non-performers from positions such as mayor, it would be ideal if prior performance assessment is carried out to vindicate actions of removal.
The party can also use its majority rule to amend either its own statutes or the Local Authorities Act in order to harmonise the two legal instruments when it comes to dealing with councillors.
As it currently stands, it looks as though there is conflict between the two tools. The Act requires midterm elections at local authority councils, while the Swapo statutes seemingly make provision to ignore the outcomes of those elections and deploy its councillors in the manner it wants.
With lust for power rife in our politics, many a councillor who was duly elected to a certain position is unlikely to accept that the party arbitrary ignores that outcome and, in stark contrast, make them ordinary councillors, for example.
New Era Reporter
2019-02-22 09:17:28 4 months ago