THE ruling party of Namibia needs to assure the nation of the unwavering commitment of the SWAPO Party to fight poverty and unemployment while fast tracking economic transformation.
President Hage Geingob in his capacity of President of the Swapo Party expressed the hope that those candidates who are elected to the Party list during the college will adhere to the SWAPO Party Constitution and practice the utmost discipline.
Before officially opening the 2019 Electoral College Dr. Geingob called for a minute of silence in honour of the late former President of Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe.
“You have important responsibilities on your shoulders. It is therefore incumbent on you to ensure that all aspects of our electoral campaign are fully optimized so that, come November, we deliver a resounding victory for SWAPO and a resounding victory for the people of Namibia.”
Geingob called upon cadres who will be elected to the party list, to inculcate within the party rank and file, the ethos of SWAPO, defined by its primary objective, which is to unite the people of Namibia, irrespective of race, religion, sex, or ethnic origin into a democratic, vibrant and peace loving nation.
“Let us never lose sight of that objective. Let us continue to hold hands and maintain the reputation of SWAPO, as the citadel of unity.”
Deputy Prime Minister Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah added to what the party president said and indicated that only 96 members will make it to the list.
“Those who don’t make it to the national assembly list should accept it. Not making it does not mean you are useless to the Swapo Party. Our results should be politically attractive to the public,” Nandi-Ndaitwa said.
The full speech of President Geingob at the official opening of the 2019 Swapo Party Electoral College reads as follows:
Before I commence with my Opening Statement, may I call on everyone to please rise, for a minute of silence, in honour of an extraordinary personality, giant and luminary of Southern Africa’s struggle for Independence – His Excellency Comrade Robert Gabriel Mugabe.
Africa has lost an icon and bulwark against the forces of colonialism.
We join our Zimbabwean brothers and sisters, most notably the rank and file of ZANU-PF, as we mourn this great beacon of Pan-Africanism.
We stand at a crossroads, on the cusp of another epoch-making moment for the mighty SWAPO Party. It is a moment whose outcome will reverberate, not only across all sections of our party structures, but also across the entire Namibian political landscape.
This is the moment where intra-party democracy comes to the fore, to determine the next cohort of dedicated cadres, who at the end of this weekend, will be given the enormous task of continuing the evolvement of this historic movement we call SWAPO.
SWAPO is a party that espouses the principles of democracy. In fact, it is built on a foundation of democratic principles and is the party that toiled and prevailed through tumultuous times to introduce democracy to Namibia. In this regard, SWAPO continues to promote effective governance and to execute its mandate on the basis of accountability, transparency, honesty and commitment.
In keeping with the democratic tenets and traditions of our Party, we have convened this Electoral College 2019 or Pot, the colloquial term, where cadres are called upon to account to the people, the electorate.
This weekend, the Party will be seized with electing those cadres who will assume the responsibility of representing our people, the sovereigns, in the National Assembly.
At this juncture, let me remind this gathering on a very important matter, which I feel, should be elucidated. As a SWAPO Party Member of Parliament, you must always be cognizant of the fact that you were not elected to Parliament. Rather, it is the Party which is elected by the people and on that basis, cadres enter parliament due to their ranking on the party list. So there is no way any SWAPO Party cadre should go to parliament and act as if he/she was individually elected. I hope that we keep this in mind and commit ourselves to stick to party rules, moving forward.
I am aware that the process leading up to this Electoral College was not smooth. There were periods when things seemed to be in disarray, but in true SWAPO Party fashion, you pulled through. I would therefore like to commend the Secretary General, as well as the party leadership at all levels, for living up to the task of ensuring that we would be prepared for this milestone event. Your dedication in service to SWAPO and the nation at large will go a long way in bolstering our national efforts to achieve accelerated, broader and sustainable socio-economic development for the benefit of all our people.
Many of you may recall that when we returned after the adoption of Resolution 435, our adversaries claimed that we would not adhere to the principles of democracy. When we claimed a resounding victory in the elections, the belief was that Namibia needs a strong opposition. When the opposition floundered, they shifted to the press as an avenue to try and counter SWAPO’s domination. When the press failed, they moved to Civil Society.
At present, a new, worrying trend is developing where the Courts are now becoming battlegrounds for politics. Our courts should be aloof to political affairs but it disheartening to see SWAPO Party cadres using the courts as arenas for political disputes.
With this in mind, it is my hope that those who will be elected to the Party list during this Pot will adhere to the SWAPO Party Constitution and practice the utmost discipline. You have important responsibilities on your shoulders. It is therefore incumbent on you to ensure that all aspects of our electoral campaign are fully optimized so that, come November, we deliver a resounding victory for SWAPO and a resounding victory for the people of Namibia.
The greatest organisations in the history of mankind have always been defined by unity.
Unity is the essential principle that guarantees a legacy of victory, success and progress. Unity was the torch that illuminated the path towards our freedom during the darkness of struggle. We are now called upon to display that same unity as we endeavour to preserve the prestige and stature of the SWAPO Party while charting a new, defining path towards economic independence.
Very soon, the SWAPO Party Election Manifesto will be launched to detail the roadmap of the Party for the next five years and beyond. We must all be prepared hold hands and mobilize support for SWAPO. The nation should remain assured about the unwavering commitment of the SWAPO Party to fight poverty and unemployment while fast tracking economic transformation in our country.
In conclusion, I call upon those cadres who will be elected to the party list, to inculcate within the party rank and file, the ethos of SWAPO, defined by our primary objective, which is to unite the people of Namibia, irrespective of race, religion, sex, or ethnic origin into a democratic, vibrant and peace loving nation. Let us never lose sight of that objective. Let us continue to hold hands and maintain the reputation of SWAPO, as the citadel of unity.
With these words, it is now my honour to declare the 2019 SWAPO Party Electoral College, officially open.
SWAPO Victorious, Now hard work.