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Semantical commentary and a recap on the CC's outcome

By Paul T. Shipale
The US presidential debates are now over and the experts are running rampant again on various aspects of the last debate including deciphering the body language of each candidate, detailing the connection between specific nonverbal communication and semantic analysis looking at verbal bayonets to distinguish the most important words and concepts being conveyed in text. Indeed, looking at the word choices that shaped the candidates' responses, semantic analysis highlights the contextual aspects that differentiate them.

Here at home, the nomination of the Honourable Minister of Regional Local Government and Housing, Jerry Ekandjo by the SPYL, as it was expected, seconded by the SPWC, signalled the beginning of the race to the vice presidency of the SWAPO Party, when all the candidates will embark on a whirlwind of campaigning.

Already Minister Ekandjo will start the campaign with a major psychological advantage as the last candidate to be nominated and because he counts with the support from the Party's wings including the affiliate body of the NUNW.

I agree with the report by Toivo Ndjebela of the Namibian Sun newspaper on Monday 22October 2012 that if the Dr. Geingob's camp, as the incumbent, does not man- age to get the required majority of more than 50% of votes in the first round, there will be a second round of voting and I foresee the camps forming alliances to lure the delegates to their side for the crucial vote in the second round. In that case, one camp will play the crucial role of the kingmaker.

But it is most likely that Minister Ekandjo's camp will come out as the favourite viewed that some have turned their initial allegiances and are changing camps, judging from the thunderous applause Minister Ekandjo's nomination drew from the last Central Committee meeting.

However, nowadays politicians are so cautious and even have first and second options and all the camps are busy strategising to pull off a surprise. In this regard, the camps will not expose themselves unnecessarily but will hold their cards close to the chest. So no one should count the chickens before the eggs hatch or burn the bridges before they cross them. Sure, every group wants to show some muscles and no one wants to be seen as the first one to blink an eye, but what is crucial is to be on the safe side and not merely based one's hopes on chances and probabilities.

To come back to semantical commentaries, it is clear that Dr Geingob's thesis has proven to be his greatest nemesis as Max Hamata of Confidante predicted in his editorial on the 9th of August 2012. In the extracts from his doctoral thesis with Leeds University (UK), which he completed when he declined to become the Minister of Regional, Local Government and Housing in 2002, Dr. Geingob is said to have equated the country's Founding President, Dr Sam Nujoma to Malawi's Kamuzu Banda in a publication entitled, "Constitutional Democracy in Namibia: A critical analysis after two decades".

At the last Central Committee of the SWAPO Party held at Parliament, Dr. Geingob got himself ensnared in another controversy or what others called a self-inflicted injury when he was tasked with designing a technical process by which the Founding President Dr Nujoma's would permanently attend meetings of the party's top three structures as per a 2007 congress resolution. Instead of redeeming himself, Dr. Geingob is reported to have come up with what he termed 'a scholarly approach' and put some of the Founding Presidents of the different African nations such as Jomo Kenyatta of Kenya, Julius Nyerere of Tanzania, Dr Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana, Nelson Mandela of South Africa and our Founding President Dr Sam Nujoma of Namibia in the same basket with Kamuzu Banda of Malawi. It is said that such an analogy did not go well with his senior comrades in the party who questioned the rationale to put together the erstwhile dictator Kamuzu Banda of Malawi with leaders such as Nyerere and Nkrumah who are highly revered by their people, unlike Banda who was collaborating with the apartheid South African government.

In the end, Dr. Geingob's motivation to appoint the Founding President as the permanent member of the party's top three structures; the Politburo, the Central committee and the Congress, was accepted though not the 'lifelong' membership as he initially suggested, as it was reported by Tangeni Amupadhi in the Namibian of Monday, 22 October 2012.

Max Hamata of Confidante was right when he asserted that some of these diatribes will serve as political indices to determine the tolerance of some people and whether they would spare their vengeance to revisit the past and resort to retributive action.

Tangeni Amupadhi of the Namibian says these were 'innocuous' remarks but they sounded more like innuendoes and injudicious remarks that do not pardon in politics. Despite the subtle campaign by Alfredo Tjiurimo Hengari who is try- ing to steer this race in favour of his preferred candidate and accusing others of what he termed, 'the hysterical scare mongering', this obvious gaffe fits the idiom "fly in the ointment" or "a little folly outweighs wisdom and honor".

True, as Andreas Guibeb said in the Namibian on Tuesday, 23rd October 2012, SWAPO was founded with the aim to unite all the people of Namibia, irrespective of race, religion, gender or ethnic origin in order to fight a common enemy and free this country from the yoke of apartheid colonialism. But it is only those who are beating the tribal drums who will read something else out of these nominations. Namibia is a unique country with its own peculiarities and history and therefore should not be equated to any other country where rotational or quota systems are used.

We are building a nation and according to Chapter 1, Article 3 (B) 1-4 of the SWAPO Party Constitution, the aim is to foster a sense of common purpose and collective destiny among all the Namibian people and to combat retrogressive tendencies of tribalism, ethnicity, regionalism, nepotism, chauvinism, etc.

Yet, the lame excuse being used now that the SPYL's list of nomination is only composed of males from the same group does not hold water. These bona fides members and tested cadres who served the party and the country in different capacities should not be barred from entering the race under false pretexts. I am sure; they were ap- pointed as Ministers purely on merit and not because of any other consideration and their nomination should be seen in the same light.

In this regard, I commend President Pohamba when he implored the members of the ruling party to refrain from divisive tendencies and factionalism and called on all those contesting that if they lose, they should accept the outcome and not go and form an opposition party in a repeat of what happened in 2004. Indeed, SWAPO Party members should agree to support whoever emerges as the winner at the congress for the 2014 Presidential Elections. Once the party congress is behind them, and long after the dust has settled, life will go on to build this nation.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of my employer and this newspaper but solely reflect my personal views as a citizen


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