Political Perspective

Political Perspective

THE lines have always been blurred between the ruling party, Swapo, and its affiliates such as the National Union of Namibian Workers (NUNW) and the Namibia National Students Organisation (Nanso), but now it truly seems that they’ve all merged into one big happy family! Last week saw a ‘combined’ press conference with only Evilastus Kaaronda of NUNW addressing the media in glorious isolation.

Yesterday another one, but this time with a phalanx of representatives from SPYL to NUNW to Nanso, and Kaaronda still at the helm. And still with nothing to say! BUT perhaps that’s because, as far as this coterie of sycophants is concerned, and in their own words, Swapo “has maintained peace, stability, democracy and ensured that Namibia remains free and independent forever”.In other words: there aren’t any problems.Yet they fail to see the contradictions in their own arguments.In the same statement they said: “Having followed media reports on the state of education at institutions of higher learning especially at Unam and Polytechnic, especially the cries of the students, we appeal to our Swapo Government, management of these institutions, to give receptive consideration to concerns raised by our students …”Followed media reports?! So the media are useful for something after all, even if it is only to prompt student movements like Nanso out of the woodwork and into action on matters they should surely be fully appraised of in the first place! Just goes to show that they aren’t doing what they’re supposed to be doing, as their mandate lies in education.They call themselves a ‘progressive and revolutionary coalition of workers, youth and students’, but there’s absolutely nothing progressive emanating from them at all! ‘Revolutionary’ perhaps only in the sense that they’re stirring it up and all they seem able to get together are press conferences where they continue to grovel at the feet of the Swapo President, as if we don’t know that and they haven’t done it already! And then they launch into the usual invective against all and sundry.What is truly sad for our democracy is the extent to which these once worthy fighters for independence in the NUNW and Nanso have completely lost their identity, and in the process, their way.Perhaps they really do believe that under Swapo we have founded the ‘perfect society’, but I think they actually do know better.The President that they revere above all else has himself frequently emphasised the need for Namibia to put an end to poverty and disease and other societal ills.If these Swapo hangers-on really had regard for his wishes, they would actively work towards making this a better society for all to live in.But it seems that hard work is anathema to them, and armchair politicking so much less tiresome and there’s always the chance that if they make enough noise, they’ll get noticed for top jobs! The NUNW should go back to the task of representing workers’ interests and Nanso and the SPYL to the youth.They should also recognise, by calling themselves ‘progressive’ forces, that this is precisely what they should strive to be and that includes being open-minded to debate and discussions, and criticism as well.We cannot exclude political leadership from this process and make them untouchables.That has been the recipe to many African and other global disasters, and Namibia will hopefully never be one of them.I’ve said before, and I say again: we’re fortunate to have democracy and stability in our country, but everything is not perfect and it’s not necessarily all Swapo’s fault.But nevertheless we ignore problems at our peril.Because democracy and stability cannot last forever, if we are not working hard at all levels and committing ourselves fully to developing the country and trying to eliminate social ills.There is therefore a lot of work to be done.And the NUNW and Nanso should ensure they are part of the solution and not part of the problem if we are to grow our democracy and ensure our future development and stability.It’s in their hands as to whether they decide to make a positive contribution or not.By the types of words and actions they’ve undertaken of late, they are not contributing to either national reconciliation, which has suddenly become their buzz phrase, or to an open society in which independence of thought and action, and of course, divergent views, are allowed to flourish without fear of victimisation.And still with nothing to say! BUT perhaps that’s because, as far as this coterie of sycophants is concerned, and in their own words, Swapo “has maintained peace, stability, democracy and ensured that Namibia remains free and independent forever”.In other words: there aren’t any problems.Yet they fail to see the contradictions in their own arguments.In the same statement they said: “Having followed media reports on the state of education at institutions of higher learning especially at Unam and Polytechnic, especially the cries of the students, we appeal to our Swapo Government, management of these institutions, to give receptive consideration to concerns raised by our students …”Followed media reports?! So the media are useful for something after all, even if it is only to prompt student movements like Nanso out of the woodwork and into action on matters they should surely be fully appraised of in the first place! Just goes to show that they aren’t doing what they’re supposed to be doing, as their mandate lies in education.They call themselves a ‘progressive and revolutionary coalition of workers, youth and students’, but there’s absolutely nothing progressive emanating from them at all! ‘Revolutionary’ perhaps only in the sense that they’re stirring it up and all they seem able to get together are press conferences where they continue to grovel at the feet of the Swapo President, as if we don’t know that and they haven’t done it already! And then they launch into the usual invective against all and sundry.What is truly sad for our democracy is the extent to which these once worthy fighters for independence in the NUNW and Nanso have completely lost their identity, and in the process, their way.Perhaps they really do believe that under Swapo we have founded the ‘perfect society’, but I think they actually do know better.The President that they revere above all else has himself frequently emphasised the need for Namibia to put an end to poverty and disease and other societal ills.If these Swapo hangers-on really had regard for his wishes, they would actively work towards making this a better society for all to live in.But it seems that hard work is anathema to them, and armchair politicking so much less tiresome and there’s always the chance that if they make enough noise, they’ll get noticed for top jobs! The NUNW should go back to the task of representing workers’ interests and Nanso and the SPYL to the youth.They should also recognise, by calling themselves ‘progressive’ forces, that this is precisely what they should strive to be and that includes being open-minded to debate and discussions, and criticism as well.We cannot exclude political leadership from this process and make them untouchables.That has been the recipe to many African and other global disasters, and Namibia will hopefully never be one of them.I’ve said before, and I say again: we’re fortunate to have democracy and stability in our country, but everything is not perfect and it’s not necessarily all Swapo’s fault.But nevertheless we ignore problems at our peril.Because democracy and stability cannot last forever, if we are not working hard at all levels and committing ourselves fully to developing the country and trying to eliminate social ills.There is therefore a lot of work to be done.And the NUNW and Nanso should ensure they are part of the solution and not part of the problem if we are to grow our democracy and ensure our future development and stability.It’s in their hands as to whether they decide to make a positive contribution or not.By the types of words and actions they’ve undertaken of late, they are not contributing to either national reconciliation, which has suddenly become their buzz phrase, or to an open society in which independence of thought and action, and of course, divergent views, are allowed to flourish without fear of victimisation.

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