Hage’s List: Soft Corruption and Absence of Democracy in Swapo

By Juuso Kambueshe (Swakopmund Constituency Councillor (Swapo)

For someone who loves the SWAPO PARTY as I do, I am sure you will agree with me that we have a duty to preserve the heritage of the Mighty SWAPO PARTY.

It is often said that “difficult roads lead to beautiful destination”, in appreciation for the difficult road that attained independence, we must instil values and ethics in our society, and we must reject and condemn cordial hypocrisy.

Let us look at the culture we are displaying, does it resonate with good ethics? Are we content with our values?

Free and fair elections require the instruments and players of the game to demonstrate and to pledge allegiance to the institution, organisation or the instruments in place.

There was a central committee of the SWAPO PARTY on the 18th of April 2015, held in the beautiful town of Ongwediva in Oshana Region. This central committee was attendant by 71 members and there were known apologies of about 9 members.

During this meeting our Former President of The Republic of Namibia the proud winner of the Mo Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African leadership (2014) Comrade President Hifikepunye Lukas Pohamba as the President of the SWAPO PARTY, Informed the Central committee that he consulted with senior leadership and he informed the Political Bureau of 13 April 2015 that he would no longer be available to serve the Party as President.

The resolutions taken on the day were clear:

# The Presidency of the SWAPO PARTY was relinquished and accepted, appreciation was extended for excellent services rendered towards PARTY and County as well as recognition and honour bestowed to President Pohamba by virtue of character.

# That the Vice – President of the SWAPO PARTY His Excellency Dr Hage G. Geingob assumes powers, duties and functions of the Presidency in accordance with Article IX (B) 3 of the SWAPO PARTY.

This article in the SWAPO PARTY Constitution reads as follows: “He or she shall exercise the same powers and carry out all the duties and functions of the President in the absence of the President. “

This is the basic fundamental we should depart from to understand why that decision was taken we should turn to page 8 of the SWAPO PARTY constitution Article V (2) The Congress shall be the supreme organ of the PARTY. This means clearly, we should not be confused regarding when the President of the Party is elected.

Chapter III Define the SWAPO PARTY Structure under Article V subsection 9 on page nine clearly stipulate when and only when there shall be an election of the President of the SWAPO PARTY, including all the other complimenting structures. It reads as follows:

(9) The Congress shall elect the Central Committee, the President, The Vice-President, the Secretary-General and the Deputy Secretary-General of the PARTY.

Nowhere else is there any other provisions made to elect or nominate second or endorse a President of the PARTY. Currently, there is no dispute whom should assume the powers of the President, the bone of contention is preserving the instruments of the PARTY.

There is a huge difference between being the President of the Party and assuming its duties and powers temporarily until the next available opportunity for an election.

It is happening today in our lifetime where chairperson is absent and those functions are handed over to the person next in line to act in that capacity called acting chairman i.e. acting CEO etc.

There was no election for the Vice President in Ongwediva nor was there any resignation of the Vice- President meaning we have three substantive top 3 positions and no President. This is a clear Position that makes it clear why we say the acting-President.

You hear it everywhere that no one person is bigger than the PARTY but it appears that if we need something from that person we turn a blind eye. Hence the term cordial hypocrisy or soft corruption.

Confronting and solving problems is a painful and highly challenging PROCESS which most of us attempt to avoid. The irony is that the very act of avoidance we take results in far greater pains and difficulties and it surely does not make the problem go away, in fact, the problem becomes complicated and we end up just scratching the surface and not addressing the root cause of the problem.

We perhaps must start to ask those tough questions and interrogate ourselves with the aim to rebuild our mass base brand PARTY and reconstruct and shape our community into a direction of prosperity. The leadership required to achieve economic emancipation demand ethics as a virtue ingrained in character and appreciation for time.

The introduction of two centres of powers has become a necessity because we are drifting away from the responsibility of aligning our values with the definition of our PARTY. The allegiance must be pledged towards the party and as painful as it is we have a duty to contribute towards the preserving our culture in the party as well as the Namibian Heritage given our history, it is evident that the SWAPO PARTY is part of the Namibian Heritage.

Let us embrace this opportunity to interrogate our challenges and seek audience with common sense as a solution, endorsement will solve the wrong problem. Endorsement will suggest that democracy is on AWOL in a firebrand mass base Organisation founded on the principals of democracy it is wrong, let us elect not select. Good luck to the candidates we are all SWAPO Members and should address each other in a dignified manner regardless our views.