By Asser Ntinda
The SWAPO Party Electoral College has come and gone. Namibians, through their more than 200 delegates they sent to the Electoral College, have spoken, loudly and clearly. The outcome is thus reflective of the will and aspirations of the Namibian people. Delegates were drawn from all the regions, Party structures and affiliate organizations.
SWAPO has, once again, demonstrated that it is the only democratic party in the country that has the capacity hold free, fair and transparent internal elections in the country. In the words of President Hifikepunye Pohamba, “those political parties that are trying to do the same are only copying from SWAPO Party. And they are failing.”
There might be ill-feelings among those who did not make it on the list, and our opponents will try to capitalize on such ill-feelings, as they did after the 2004 extra-ordinary congress, whose fallout we still feel today. We must guard against such forces. For, their aim, is and has always been to see divisions in SWAPO Party.
We must be mature enough and have the courage of our conviction to stand up and applaud ourselves that we have successfully demonstrated to the whole nation and the world beyond that we are democrats. We talk and walk democracy.
President Pohamba said that for those who did not make it, there is always next time. And he said we are all winners. This is SWAPO Party victory. Let us celebrate it, instead of becoming victims of the Jonas Savimbi’s political syndrome of “either I win or the elections are not free and fair.’ RDP’S Hidipo Hamutenya tried to experiment that syndrome and at look at where he is today – a pathetic political wreck of his former self.
There is no way that all the candidates could be accommodated. There are only 72 seats. Surely, some candidates have to fall out. That is democracy. Our opponents have already started to drive a wedge between the so-called “Old Guards” and the “Young Turks.” And they thought these were going to be deciding factors. They were wrong.
As could be expected, Phil Ya Nangoloh of the National Society for Human Rights, NSHR, was the lone voice in condemning the outcome of the Electoral College. While other political analysts were fairly balanced in their assessments and observations, Ya Nangoloh chose to look at the outcome of the Electoral College through the “Omusati Clique,” Tanganyika Group,” the “Ndongas” and the “Young Turks” tentacles.
Not that be believes his own craps, but he is just trying to provoke anger. By insinuating that the “Ndongas” were instrumental in “forming SWAPO,” he is simply targeting certain individuals, particularly the “Ndongas,” causing them to feel alienated and rejected. That is a cheap shot. He and his cohort John Grobler used the same tribal thread after the 2004 extra-ordinary congress to incite tribal frictions and succeeded in luring Hamutenya out. This time around he should not be allowed to succeed.
For him to insinuate that Founding President Sam Nujoma still “remains the de facto” President is to insult President Hifikepunye Pohamba and the Highest Office he holds in the land. I have always said that even if you do not like the person or his person, respect the Office he holds. Those who elected him into that Office were not fools. By insulting him, you are also insulting those who put him there. I resent that elitist contempt for popular judgment.
SWAPO Party has come a long way. Our future is clear. We should remain focused on the goals we have set ourselves to achieve. We should not, as a nation, get side-tracked by these simple tree to tree monkey tricks. It is SWAPO Party that has won. We should campaign to ensure that SWAPO Party wins all the seats in the National Assembly, as well as the Presidency. That message, too, must be pumped into Ya Nangoloh’s head, loudly and clearly.