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Ngurare speaks his mind, elders should not drag the youth in their presidential fight

SWAPO Party Youth League, SPYL, held its elective congress last weekend. SPYL Secretary, Dr Elijah Ngurare, survived a coordinated onslaught against him, which was spearheaded by some senior Party leaders. It flopped, badly! Dr Ngurare emerged from the Congress not only happier, but also more popular than before. He was re-elected unopposed, despite all attempts to find an eleventh hour candidate to stand against him. Namibia Today's Editor, Asser Ntinda, spoke to Dr Ngurare after the congress and this was what he had to say

Question: How do you describe the just-ended SPYL Congress?

Answer: It shall go down in history as the first SPYL Congress that lasted for five days and discussed real issues of bread and butter affecting the Namibian people in general and the Namibian youth in particular.

Question: Are you satisfied with the way discussions were conducted?

Answer: Yes, very satisfied because delegates fully understood that they were in Windhoek on behalf of thousands of young people who are in villages, constituencies and regions of our country. Delegates further understood the historical imperative the SWAPO Party bestows on the SWAPO Party Youth League. The discussions centered around youth empowerment, rural development and genuine economic empowerment in all 107 Constituencies and 13 Regions. That will be our focus over the next five years.

Question: There have been several attempts to make sure that you were not re-elected. What do say about such attempts?

Answer: What matters is that despite all these attempts, and however, lucrative they have been at times, the young lions of SWAPO Party have ensured that such retrogressive attempts have been completely and democratically defeated because SWAPO Party and SWAPO Party Youth League are not on sale, not today, not yesterday and certainly not tomorrow. The youth have moral values which guide their conscience. As you have seen, only a few misguided youth members entertain the bubblegum syndrome. We are alert. The congress shamed them. We smartly outmaneuvered those who wanted to disrupt the congress.

Question: Some senior party leaders were part of the group that worked hard to make sure you were not re-elected. What is your take on that?

Answer: I didn't realize that some senior party leaders had developed a peculiar interest in the SPYL Congress to that extent. Suffice it to say, I was, as many others were, shocked. I thought these tendencies were gone with those who are now in the opposition. Now I know I was wrong. But again, SPYL is not Ngurare. Ngurare is simply a simple man leading SPYL. I have been mandated to do so by successive SPYL congresses. I am honestly dumbfounded that senior SWAPO Party leaders could stoop so low. It defies my understanding, to say the least.

Question: Having observed what has happened, are you sure that those people will not try to undermine you again?

Answer: Every member of SWAPO Party and SWAPO Party Youth League is governed by the aims and objectives of the Party. I would thus advise anybody who wishes to embark on such political acrobatics to refocus their energy on the implementation of the 2009 SWAPO Party Election Manifesto and the SWAPO Party Political Programme.

I am not the enemy, but the enemy is poverty, hunger, underdevelopment, incompetency, tribalism, racism, regionalism and personality cults. Those are the retrogressive tendencies the SWAPO Party Constitution discourages. We will name and shame those who practice such retrogressive tendencies.

Question: How will you work with them now, knowing that they spared no time and cents and did all they could to ensure that you were not reelected?

Answer: I joined SWAPO Party and SPYL, not individual members. So, it is ok with me if they don't like me but they like SWAPO Party and SPYL. I am not a member of SWAPO Party and SPYL on behalf of somebody. I am a member in my own right. To those who feel threatened by who I am and what I am in SWAPO Party and SPYL, I say tough luck.

Thousands of people out there are happy with what SPYL is doing. There are only a few misguided elements who concoct and fabricate lies about Ngurare. Funny enough, such people fabricate lies which nobody can believe.

They lack common sense because the lies they fabricate are ridiculous. No person with common sense can believe such outrageous lies. How could I have kicked out delegates from Grootfontein and Ohangwena from the Congress? That is nonsense? These were just desperate lies aimed at disrupting the Congress. Who would believe such a lie?

Question: Who is fuelling infightings and divisions within SPYL?

Answer: The infightings and divisions are being fuelled by insatiable appetite for power by some senior SWAPO Party leaders who appear to have sworn that, by hook or crook, they must ascend to the Highest Office in the land. But that is not how to get there. It is the trust of the people that will land you in that office, not lies and money. Public offices are never bought. You cannot buy the conscience of the people. Trust is never bought. It is earned through honesty and hard-work, dedication and commitment.

Question: What is your message to such people?

Answer: They should re-read the aims and objectives of the SWAPO Party and practice them slavishly. They should either respect the Constitutions of SWAPO Party and of SPYL or dump them. The choice is theirs. SWAPO Party is here to stay. Individual ambitions should not drive us. We should be driven by the principles, aims and objectives of SWAPO Party as enshrined in those guiding documents.

As SPYL members, we are disciplined. I urge our elders to keep their fights to themselves.

Please, don't drag us in your fights. Keep them to your selves. You are confusing the youth. We don't want to become presidents. Those are your wars. Fight your wars alone. When you are done, come and guide us. That is all we need.

Question: What is your message to SPYL leaders and members who have been used against you?

Answer: I made the message crystal clear at the just ended Congress, namely that the SWAPO Party Youth League leaders and members must resist from becoming political bubble-gums of some ambitious politicians, no matter how rich they profess to be or how many millions they are flashing all over the place. After all, not all that glitters is gold.

Question: Do you have any idea or reason about why some SWAPO Party leaders did not want you to be re-elected?

Answer: They have this political fantasy that if I am reelected, their presidential paths shall be diminished. But Ngurare does not determine who becomes the President!

That choice lies with the people out there. Those are the people one should impress, not Ngurare. Leave Ngurare out of your presidential ambitions and fights.

Question: Now that you know who, among senior Party leaders, campaigned against you, will you also do an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth and campaign against them at the upcoming SWAPO Party seen congress?

Answer: I will never stoop that low, never ever. What I have seen is disgusting enough. My conscience dictates that I should not stoop that low. I have gone through many ups and downs in my life. In all those difficult moments, my all-weather friends have been the Constitution of SWAPO Party and that of SPYL.

I have never deviated from those guiding documents. They are above individuals. They remain our ray of hope. Individuals come and go, but those documents will be there to define SWAPO Party leaders and members. Those documents see no tribe or race. They see Namibians. To cut a long story short, I will never campaign against them.

Question: Why do such people hate you? What crime have you committed? Answer: I hope they would be bold enough to tell me one day. Why all the investment to remove Ngurare from office? In fact, if this investment is to be quantified one day, it would be found that it is enough to build houses for our rural poor. Question: What is your message to SPYL leaders and members?

Answer: My clarion message to the SPYL leaders and members is to continue being foot-soldiers of the SWAPO Party in the implementation of our generational call of youth empowerment, rural development and genuine economic empowerment in all 107 constituencies and 13 Regions, from Okangwati to Aroab; from Aroab to Okatana; from Okatana to Sibbinda.

Question: What is your message to those who supported you throughout?

Answer: I have received support from comrades who never wavered on the ideals of SWAPO Party. These are young and old, to them I say 'let us continue to roar for the actualization of the ideals espoused in the SWAPO Party Political Programme and the 2009 SWAPO Party Election Manifesto.' I remain forever humbled by such support, advise, encouragement and wisdom. I have grown because of them.

Question: How did you feel when you were re-elected? Answer: I felt greatly honoured by the support of the Namibian youth to lead them once again for the second term of office. They are my masters and I am their servant. It was their victory. It was the victory of SPYL and of SWAPO Party as well as its membership and leadership, including those who held different views.

Question: What will SPYL concentrate on over the next five years under your leadership?

Answer: As our resolutions indicate, our next five years shall be characterized by the fearless and militant advocacy for the full implementation of bread and butter issues in all 107 Constituencies and 13 Regions. We must be participants, not just spectators, in our economic development. Namibia is for us.

Vision 2030 dictates that we see our faces there as the youth. NDP4 enjoins us to look at ourselves as a happy nation. We must have the will to make ourselves happy with the resources Namibia possesses.

This is our country. We neither begged to be born here, nor did we choose to be born at our age. We were born at our time, and at our time, we should define ourselves. On this one, we owe nobody an apology. We want economic independence. We must define our future on our terms. We have enough God-given resources in this country to make every Namibian happy. Making every Namibian happy is not a luxury. It is a right. We know what belongs to us. What belongs to us is ours, and is not negotiable.

We have no courage to fight for what is not ours. What is ours, we know. In our fight for economic independence, we need no one from London or Washington to tell us what is best for us. That is not their business. We are only defining ourselves within the context of the natural resources we have in this country.

Those resources were meant for us. It is therefore not a crime to fight for economic independence. We demand, not ask for, economic empowerment. Our people in rural areas are crying for help. They know we have the resources to make their living conditions better. They know that Namibia has enough resources to make a difference in their lives


SWAPO Headquarters Mandume Strt
Windhoek, Katutura