SWAPO Party 58th Anniversary Celebration Rally
Unity of our Movement as We Work Towards Prosperity for all
April 28, 2018
Mariental, Hardap Region
. Directors of Ceremonies, Comrades Enda Isaaks and Lucia Witbooi;
. Comrade Sophia Shaningwa, Secretary General of the SWAPO Party;
. Members of the SWAPO Party Politburo and Central Committee;
. Leaders and members of respective SWAPO Party wings;
. Traditional Leaders;
. Regional and Local Authority Councillors;
. Comrades and friends
. An anniversary is the date on which an event took place or an institution was founded in a previous year, and may also refer to the commemoration or celebration of that event.
. It is 58 years since the foundation of a vanguard movement which would revolutionize Namibia's political landscape, propelling our nation towards independence and sovereignty.
. That movement is the SWAPO Party.
. Namibians who were suffering under the brutal Contract Labour System of Apartheid South Africa sought a solution to their oppression by forming a party that would unite all Namibians behind one common purpose - absolute independence for the people of Namibia.
. The objective of SWAPO was to fight relentlessly for freedom and genuine independence of Namibia to translate the hopes and aspirations of the people of Namibia into reality.
. That is what we are celebrating today, as Namibians who are living the reality of independence and pursuing our hopes and aspirations as free people - THANKS TO SWAPO.
2. Unity of our Movement
. There are those who claim SWAPO is a one person show. They claim SWAPO represents one ethnic group. The only thing they can claim is sheer ignorance.
. SWAPO was birthed out of the tenets of unity.
. Fifty-eight years ago, on this day, the Owamboland People's Organization (OPO) transformed into SWAPO.
. The objective was clear: to unite Namibians under the rallying call of One Namibia, One Nation, with the mandate to liberate our country from Apartheid occupation first, and to unite all Namibians irrespective of race, religion, sex, or ethnic origin into a democratic, vibrant and peace-loving nation.
. SWAPO has always been an Organization of the people and for the people; it will remain a movement rooted in the destiny of our people. It is a home for all Namibians.
3. A Party of Diversity
. Recently there has been a campaign of misinformation by opposition parties claiming SWAPO is based on ethnicity.
. I wish to debunk this wishful thinking.
.From its inception, SWAPO has always had a balanced representation of all ethnic groups in its leadership structures. No other political party can make that claim.
.The Constitution of the OPO was drafted by the late Comrade Emile Appolus, may his soul rest in peace. He was not from Northern Namibia but he was a Namibian who was faced with the injustice of colonialism and decided to play an active role in the struggle, together with his countrymen who were with him in Cape Town.
.The composition of SWAPO's leadership illustrates that it has always been representative of all the Namibian people.
. From President Sam Nujoma, National Chairman Mburumba Kerina later followed by David Meroro, Secretary General Ismael Fortune later on replaced by Jacob Kuhangua, Information Secretary Levy Kanyome later replaced by Emile Appolus and Treasury Minister Karita. These are just a few, among many luminaries emanating from diverse backgrounds, who represented the mighty SWAPO Party.
. I joined SWAPO in 1962 and recall that diversity was consistent throughout the party structure.
. Some of the few stalwarts and icons who have contributed to the SWAPO Partybesides Comrade Toivo Ya Toivo are the likes of Comrades Tobias Hainyeko, Hendrik Witbooi, Simon "Mzee" Kaukungua, Nangolo Mbumba, Ben Amathila, Putuse Appolus, Libertine Appolus Amathila, Vinnia Ndadi, Levi Mwashekele, Peter Katjavivi, Fritz Gariseb, Frank Abrahams, Theo-Ben Gurirab, Brendan Simbwaye, David "Lyangurungunda" Hausiku, Jason Daniel Mutumbulwa, John Ya Otto, Hifikepunye Pohamba, Solomon Mifima, Onesmus Akwenye, Nathaniel Maxuilili, Daniel Tjongarero, Brian Bassingthwaighte, Moses //Garoeb, Linekela Kalenga and of course Yours Truly, the President of SWAPO Hage Gottfried Geingob.
. If I have to go on, we will be here until midnight. This just goes to prove the notion that SWAPO IS Namibia and Namibia is SWAPO.
. Yes, we all come from different ethnic groups, some big some small but the important thing is that we hold hands.
. Problems arise when one thinks that, "only my group can be trusted."
a. 50/50 Policy
. SWAPO has always been a trend setter, at the forefront of promoting ethnic and gender diversity. SWAPO implements what others dream.
. SWAPO amended the Constitution to ensure that all party structures are compelled to comply with the 50/ 50 gender representation requirement by adopting a zebra style electoral system.
. This amendment affects all Party structures - from section, branch, district, regional to national levels, up to the highest structures, including the Top Four.
. As we move forward, ready to face the challenges that lie ahead, let us not face the challenges as individuals or groups, let us face them as SWAPO, the people's party, the party you can trust.
4. Working towards Prosperity for all
a. Economic outlook
. The past two years have been characterized by adverse economy conditions, resulting in an economic downturn which necessitated robust fiscal consolidation.
. The economic growth outlook is starting to improve on the back of rebounding commodity prices and improving global economic conditions.
. Over the medium term, growth is projected to improve, mainly due to the expected recovery in taxes on products and reduced contractions in wholesale and retail trade and construction sectors.
. The mining sector will be a key contributor to GDP as commodity prices begin to improve, thereby increasing investor confidence.
b. Income inequality
. Income inequality is aggravated by our unique political history and black Namibians continue to bear the biggest brunt of this dark period of our history.
. The NEEEF consultations and the implementation of the strategy constitute a necessary intervention in dealing with structural inequality, of which income disparities and lack of participation of the black majority remain a glaring legacy of our past.
. We cannot allow status quo to continue. SWAPO did not only fight for the political independence of all Namibians but we fought and continue to fight for their economic emancipation as well. This is our second phase of the struggle.
. That is why I said during SONA 2018 that, "We should address underlying structural impediments that make it difficult, if not impossible for many Namibians to meaningfully participate in the economy."
. Let me reemphasize the fact that the SWAPO Party and the SWAPO Government, will leave no stone unturned in the single minded pursuit of poverty eradication, sustainable development and the fight against inequality and corruption.
. We will maintain our transformative goals as we endeavor to empower all Namibians on a broad based level. Not individual empowerment.
. In a weeks' time we will be convening the meeting of the Central Committee, where we will announce the Secretariat as well as the new Think Tank, amongst other matters.
. Let us therefore ensure that before we meet, we reaffirm our commitment to work towards prosperity for all. This should be the guiding principle for all our deliberations.
. As we pause to reflect on the road we have travelled, let us honor our fallen comrades and compatriots who paid the ultimate sacrifice for our Independence.
. It is why the rank and file of our Party should commit to embody the values of unity, peace, patriotism, equality and equity.
. We should think about the journey ahead, plan and work harder to meet the aspirations for a better tomorrow for the majority of our people.
. As cadres in a glorious movement, we must intensify efforts at all levels, within all structures and wings, towards serving our people with diligence and fighting the scourges of poverty, corruption and inequality.
. Dignity and prosperity for the majority is achievable through unity of purpose.
. Let the Unity of our Movement become the foundation of our work towards Prosperity for all!
Happy 58th Birthday SWAPO. Happy 58th Birthday Comrades.
NOW, Hard Work!