2015 SWAPO Party Regional and Local Government Election Campaign Launched
Statement at the launch of the SWAPO Party Regional and Local Government Election Campaign
October 17, 2015, Katutura Multi-Purpose Youth Complex, Windhoek
Director of Ceremonies;
The Right Honourable Saara Kuugongelwa - Amadhila, Prime Minister of the Republic of Namibia;
Comrade Nangolo Mbumba, Secretary General of the SWAPO PARTY of Namibia;
Comrades, Members of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the SWAPO Party;
Comrades, Members of the SWAPO Party Central Committee;
SWAPO Party functionaries;
Comrades, Members of the various SWAPO Party wings;
Members of the Media;
Comrades and friends;
It gives me great pleasure, to join you here today to kick-start yet another election campaign for this peerless party - the mighty SWAPO Party.
One year ago, we launched a huge election campaign for the Presidential and National Assembly Election and true to form, SWAPO scored a resounding victory.
Those elections were for the Executive and Legislature. The Judiciary is not elected. So we have three organs of state: namely Judiciary, Legislature and the Executive. The Executive is the Government.
We have a three tier Government consisting of the Central Government, Regional Government and Local Authorities. The Central Government is headed by the President. Since Namibia is a Unitary State, the President is elected by a single constituency. He/she is thus President of all the regions. That's why he/she appoints the Ministers, who are his/her Cabinet colleagues as well as the Governors who are his/her representatives in the regions.
In addition to the Governors in the regions, you also have the Chairperson of the Regional Council together with the councilors. Those are the people who are close to you and are able to deal with specific and unique problems related to your region. For bread and butter issues you have the Local Authorities, headed by the Mayors.
Today we are focused on the Regional and Local Authority Elections that will take place on November 27, 2015. As stated in the 2014 SWAPO Party Election Manifesto, "...one of the most important priorities of the SWAPO Party Government ...... has been the creation and establishment of the institutional framework necessary for democratic governance."
Given that this election is for the Regional and Local Authority, we must understand that unlike some of us, the councilors are elected on a constituency basis. That is why it is crucial that we identify cadres that are suitable to deal with the demands of an urban center such as Windhoek for example. In future, we should ensure that we select cadres based on prerequisite qualifications and they should be vetted 6 months before the elections so that our Party has a list of candidates to submit to the Electoral Commission of Namibia, well in advance.
Let me point out that people are the sovereign and they appoint us to govern on their behalf. Therefore they watch us and during periodic elections, they can remove us. We give account to them so that they can see whether we have performed according to their wishes. If we have not performed, then we should expect consequences.
During my trips to the regions where I held Town Hall meetings, I was disturbed to discover that everywhere I went, I was informed that the people are unhappy with their councilors. That is why during the primaries, some of our cadres lost out, including the old guard and subsequently there were complaints regarding these outcomes. Yesterday at the Politburo, I set up a committee to conduct a post mortem on the elections at the primaries.
In my thesis, I have talked about Savimbi Syndrome, where those who lose, cry foul. Some cadres have even been heard exclaiming that "this is not the SWAPO we knew." Let me tell you, this is the same SWAPO. You have only become Savimbi because you lost. In the past I lost by one vote in the politburo and I also lost out to Comrade Witbooi, may his soul rest in peace. However, I did not cry or make disparaging remarks about the SWAPO Party. However, some cadres have suddenly changed and become fair weather friends. That is why I applaud what transpired in the Zambezi Region when those who lost out in the primaries later accepted the results and decided to move on. You may recall that when Comrades Jerry Ekandjo and Pendukeni Ithana lost out at the 2012 Congress, we held hands, they accepted the results and proceeded to fervently support the 2014 election campaign. Their humility and commitment to SWAPO is one the reason we were able to win by such a huge margin.
I am confident that given the SWAPO Party's track record of effective Governance and our vision to expand and spread the opportunities for growth and prosperity to all Namibians from all walks of life and in all parts of the country, we stand ready to deal another devastating blow to our opponents come November.
I am informed that we have already won in 11 constituencies with some being uncontested. This means that before the real contest has begun, our opponents have already been sent packing. I only have one thing to say about that, don't play with SWAPO.
Let me therefore urge all of our cadres who stand ready to contest the upcoming election. Continue to carry the flame of patriotism and selflessness for which our SWAPO Party is known for. Put all self-interest aside and pick up the mantle of hard work because the struggle continues. Let us continue the legacy which started with Comrade Sam Nujoma who brought independence, peace, unity and reconciliation. This was followed by Comrade Hifikepunye Pohamba, the rainmaker, who brought stability. Now people want jobs, they want food, clothes, schools and decent shelter. They want prosperity. The only way to achieve that is by pulling together in one direction as selfless and committed comrades ready to tackle the new enemy which is poverty.
The SWAPO Party Government has singled out poverty as the number one enemy of Namibia and a threat to our democracy and development objectives. For this reason, we have declared all-out war on poverty. In a war situation, one must be prepared to make sacrifices and incur losses for the greater good of all. It is therefore disturbing to hear that while we are fortifying ourselves against a looming drought, energy crisis, tackling high youth unemployment and readying ourselves to launch an offensive on poverty, there are a number of Public Servants who are planning to go on strike.
According to Public Service records, there are 100,000 people employed as Civil Servants while there are 278 245 people unemployed. In other words Public Servants are few compared to those who are unemployed. They are employed while 278 245 people are on the streets.
Therefore, since we are fighting a war against poverty, it is not too much to ask those that are fortunate enough to have employment to think about their brothers and sisters who have nothing. Yes, I understand the issue of creeping inflation and how it increases the cost of living; however there are those for who are just struggling to survive. Let all of us who are employed think about how we can reduce spending and sacrifice our salaries rather than fighting for increments when you are employed and at least having income. I am ready to set aside 20% of my salary in order to set up a scholarship fund for impoverished children. The modalities around the 20% will be discussed later.
The task ahead of us is no mean feat. We face an enemy that has no jet fighter planes, tanks, artillery, soldiers or bases we can set our targets on. Poverty is a faceless enemy that comes in many forms. We therefore need to be more united than ever before and hold hands to form an unbreakable chain, a chain that will form the boundary in which we will build and fortify our Namibian House.
Therefore Comrades, let me restate the fact that SWAPO is the people's party. Those who dream of our downfall and those who try to sow the seeds of division amongst us must forget about ever succeeding. Last year the people spoke loud and clear, giving us an overwhelming mandate to govern and take Namibia to higher heights. Let us now go and ensure that we maintain that momentum during the Regional and Local Government Elections. In so doing, we will show the naysayers that SWAPO means business; we are the party you can trust.
Vote SWAPO for peace and stability. Vote SWAPO for inclusivity and progress. Vote SWAPO for prosperity. Vote for the SWAPO Party. The Party you trust, the party that will crush poverty and bring prosperity to all Namibians.
It is therefore my honour to launch the SWAPO Party Regional and Local Government Election Campaign.
SWAPO united, SWAPO victorious, now hard work.