Angula says vote depends on stance on critical issues

Nahas Angula

Former prime minister Nahas Angula, a long serving Swapo member, says his vote for Swapo and its candidate Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah depends on the party’s commitment to solving critical issues.

Angula said this during a brief interview with The Namibian on Monday.

“If the Swapo party comes up with a programme on how to solve youth unemployment, inequality, poverty and related social ills, yes, I will vote for my party, but they must come up with a programme,” Angula said.

He said all political parties participating in the 2024 national elections should present clear programmes addressing these critical issues.

“I don’t have blind loyalty to anybody,” he said, adding that he will vote according to what the candidate promises to do for the country.

He said it is also not guaranteed that he will vote for Ally Angula, the daughter of his younger brother, who aims to run for the Namibian presidency as an independent candidate.

“I have not seen her political programme and I don’t support individuals, I support what a person stands for. I support what a person is promising to go and do. I vote according to my ideology.”

Angula said if his niece comes up with a manifesto that addresses social justice, he may consider voting for her “if I think she is serious”.

He said Ally should come up with a political programme reflecting what she stands for.

“I don’t want to hear that I am standing because I am a youth. Age is not a programme. I want to hear [about] what kind of society you want to create in Namibia? Then I [will] scrutinise whether that is doable or not. That is only when I can decide for whom to vote,” he said.

He added that he will do the same for political parties, and if the programmes align with his ideology, he will vote for them.

Ally did not respond to questions sent to her yesterday.

However, speaking on the Namibia Media Holdings’ programme, ‘The Agenda’, on Sunday, she said Angula told her the newspaper articles would embarrass the family and he advised her to start something small like a soup kitchen.

She also asserted that Angula would vote for her.

Swapo deputy secretary general Uahekua Herunga said Angula is right.

“All Swapo members and sympathisers will vote for the Swapo party and the theme for this year is centered around youth empowerment. I don’t think there is anything wrong with what comrade Nahas has said,” Herunga added.

Angula has been critical of Swapo on various issues, the most recent being the decision to postpone the party’s extraordinary congress to April 2025.

The extraordinary congress will vote for the president and vice president of Swapo.

In 2020, Angula called on Swapo leadership elected at the 2017 watershed elective congress to resign, saying they were elected through Fishrot-funded campaigns.

That year, Angula unsuccessfully contested for the position of Swapo president but lost to late president Hage Geingob.

Political analyst Wade Henckert said Swapo must make a firm commitment to tackling urgent socio-economic issues to preserve public trust.

“If Swapo fails to present a compelling case for addressing the issues at hand, voters may seek out other candidates. The party’s reputation can be revitalised by its dedication to addressing these issues,” Henckert said.

He added that Angula has a substantial impact on public opinion and voting patterns.

“Angula has significant influence over a portion of the voters due to his standing within the party and his wealth of political experience in Namibia,” he said.

Meanwhile, political commentator Ndumba Kamwanyah said Swapo should pay attention to the changing landscape and if the party ignores it, it will be at its own peril.

“We are at a crossroads as a country, in the sense that people are no longer just being driven by loyalty to the party or to their personas,” he said.

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