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In THE SPOTLIGHT this time is the The Press Conference, addressed by Cde. Pendukeni Iivula-Ithana, Secretary General of the SWAPO Party, on 6th January 2010 at the SWAPO Headquaters, WINDHOEK .

Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen of the Press,

Comrades and Friends,

Let me right at the onset wish you a Happy and Prosperous 2010 and at the same time welcome you to this 1st SWAPO Party Press Conference in the New Year.

We have decided to call this Press Conference and directly speak to the Namibian people on matters of common and public interest not only to the SWAPO Party but also to the country as a whole. SWAPO Party does so convincingly, we are aware and are appreciative of the overwhelming mandate that the Namibian, as voters, gave to SWAPO Party in the National Assembly and Presidential Elections in November 2009. SWAPO Party deeply values the trust and treasures the confidence our people have in SWAPO PARTY. SWAPO PARTY wishes the nation a happy New Year and the promise is delivery on the promise we have made in the 2009 Election Manifesto.

The 2009 Presidential and National Assembly elections have come and gone. Through the ballot, our people have spoken loudly and clearly. Our people have given our SWAPO Party another 5 year mandate to deliver the wishes and aspirations. For that, our people must be commended. These votes have vindicated SWAPO’s long-held conviction that SWAPO is the people and the people are SWAPO. Our people must be loudly commended for a job well done.

As we stated in our previous Press Conference of 30 December 2009 “Our SWAPO Party won both the Presidential and National Assembly contests hands down. This has come as no surprise to anybody, nationally or internationally, with the exception of those harbouring the Jonas Savimbi syndrome, that is to say, bad losers. This is a group of power hungry individuals whose only aim in participating in an election is to see themselves in the State House, otherwise nobody else should win. Shame on them”!

The RDP and cohorts want to question only the National Assembly Elections and not the Presidential Elections. Does this suggest that at long last now Mr Hidipo Hamutenya has surrendered his long harboured ambition to become President of the Republic of Namibia? And if so, is this not an indication of an internal squabbles within the artificial political project also known as RDP. The race is now on who falls out and who remains in the waste bin of dishonor (RDP) which is currently torn between camps.

As we stated above, there are those political opportunists, who are questioning our people’s intelligence for having voted the way they did. One of their spin-doctors claim that ours is not a “thinking vote”. In other words, you the people of Namibia, were not thinking when you voted for SWAPO Party and President Pohamba. Your vote for SWAPO has earned you an uninviting name as “not thinking vote.” What an insult to your intelligence! What an insult to your children, mothers and fathers, grandfathers and grand mothers who went out and waited patiently and patriotically to cast their vote! How on earth can someone call you non-thinking voters just because you voted for SWAPO Party and its President?

The current court case by those political opportunists is about questioning your intelligence. In other words, they are saying you were fools when you chose to vote for SWAPO and its President. Namibians! Can we religiously accept this insult?

As Secretary General of SWAPO Party, I say no! This insult must be rejected with the contempt it deserves. I say no, no, and I want you to echo me in saying no to this Savimbi syndrome. Comrades and Compatriots, you stood firm behind SWAPO in the crucible of the bitter and long struggle for Namibia’s independence. You were not wrong then, just as you were not wrong on November 27-28. SWAPO commends and congratulates you for not wavering. You have not wavered during the bitter struggle for independence. You certainly cannot waver in the struggle for economic independence. You have shown Africa and the world beyond who you are and what you stand for.

SWAPO Party says loudly and clearly that you knew what you were doing when you voted for SWAPO Party. But there is an added responsibility to this – we must, more than ever before, be vigilant. In the process of implementing the 2009 SWAPO Party Election Manifesto, we must ensure that we have the right people at the right places. This we should do without an apology to anyone. We must deploy Party cadres without fear. This also does not mean deploying those who conveniently come to settle their fees at Headquarters and go back to settle in their comfort zones. The overwhelming mandate which you have given us dictates that we should just do that. Any deviation from that clarion call by whoever amounts to a betrayal of the sacred trust and confidence you have in SWAPO Party. After all, you voted for SWAPO Party out of 13 contesting political parties.

Our instruction to Party structures throughout the country is that we should not leave the implementation of the 2009 Election Manifesto in the hands of those whose reason for existence is to destroy SWAPO Party.

As I have said earlier, we must be vigilant. Those who have lost the elections are now busy spreading rumors, lies and propaganda. I am particularly referring to those who are going around telling people that they have won with 37% while SWAPO lost with 35%. The hidden objective of spreading such lies to incite people to violence and create a situation like what we saw in Zimbabwe and Kenya. Let us take a classic example of political madness and incitement to violence: at Omafo, Helao Nafidi in Ohangwena Region, just after the elections SWAPO Party members celebrated their victory, they did so under a Omuve tree, this is a tree which produces the delicious Eembe. In the still of the night, RDP members went and vent their anger on that tree by chopping it down to the ground as if the tree was a voter of SWAPO Party. What is this?

In addition, the rent a crowd demonstration by the youth leagues of the opposition parties was designed to result in a mass demonstration throughout the country, the Iranian and Ukranian style. Fortunately, the Namibian people, matured as they are rejected these latest politically induced jamborees. Clearly therefore going to court by these nine opposition parties was an after-thought, when they failed the intended mass demonstrations aimed at rendering this country ungovernable. Their next option is the high court, the question what is next after the court? The naked lies of these opposition parties are conveniently being stretched to 21st March in order to induce the winning SWAPO Party to negotiate a coalition government with a coalition of losers. If our institutions instructed with the mandate to resolve dispute do not see through these maneuvers, then they are letting our people down.

Comrades and Friends, it must be clear that these elections were free and fair. International observers were here. Every political party that took part in such elections had agents at every polling stations where counting took place. It was impossible to rig these elections. At every polling station there was police presence, is RDP and cohorts implying that the Namibian Police was an accomplice to vote rigging? I appeal to Namibians not to play into the hands of those power hungry individuals. The issue is now before High Court. The High Court has not pronounced itself on the matter. We must therefore guard against rumours and lies.

SWAPO Party also finds it strange that the respondents were not served with notices of application which were filed before the High Court on Monday. This is unprocedural. Strangely, the notices were also filed out of time. A Press Release issued by the High Court on the matter simply added more confusion as it could wrongly be interpreted as meaning that the High court has declared the “elections null and void.”

Comrades and Friends, I want to take you down memory lane. When RDP was formed under the veil of secrecy, lies were spread that it would take over the government and bring about “changes”. They never said what “changes” they would bring about. RDP negotiated one councilor in Eenhana Constituency out of his job to test its strength. Before by-elections were held, RDP went around telling people that it would win Eehnana Constituency. It dismally failed. Then came Omuthiya and Tobias Hainyeko. There, too, RDP failed despite amount of publicity by the Eurocentric media and even NBC then. In fact everything happening today was planned well before elections by the RDP and their sponsors.

Before the November elections, RDP went around telling people that it would take over the government because it had a database of 390,000 members. Lies were spread that SWAPO Party had been rigging elections all those years. NamPrint, which had been printing ballot papers, was cited as one of the institutions involved in rigging elections. The Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) which had earlier granted a tender to NamPrint, cowardly caved in and withdrew the tender from NamPrint, following engineered series of complaints from RDP. We should remember that it was Hidipo Levius Hamutenya who was instrumental in securing such tenders to NamPrint when he was a Minister of Information and Broadcasting. Our position has always been clear. Whether ballot papers were printed by NamPrint or not, SWAPO Party would win hands down. SWAPO Party scored a resounding victory not through rigging but through free and fair elections. That we know for sure. No amount of weapons of misinformation will take away SWAPO Party’s victory.

Fellow citizens, Comrades and Compatriots, our message to you is to remain calm and do not panic. SWAPO Party is in charge whether they like it or not. Do not become victims of our detractor’s propaganda. We have now learned from newspapers that opposition parties which have taken the matter to court claim that hey have discovered irregularities which cost them 11 seats. They also claim that they have found “30,000 ballot counterfoils which did not bear voter registration numbers.” These claims must be tested in the court of law. Should there be indisputable evidence of irregularities, SWAPO Party is ready for a rerun any day even tomorrow, to us that will even be better. This must be clear to all and sundry. We have an indisputable track-record of winning elections freely and fairly. We did so in 1989 when the boers were in charge. We did so consistently up to the just ended 2009 Elections. The matter is now before the High Court and we are waiting for the verdict, but one thing is clear, the main stakeholder in this case, are the people of Namibia and they have every reason to know what would transpire from the High Court and the impact it would have on the overwhelming decision they (electorate) made on 27-28 November 2009.

SWAPO UNITED; SWAPO VICTOROUS; AND NOW, HARD WORK

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Wednesday, 6th January 2010, 15:35:07







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