• Reply to ‘CANU-SWAPO merger: politics of the present,’ that appeared in New Era, 1st June 2012
In reply to the duo doctors’ article of 1st June 2012, on page 9, even though it is not our wish to comment before we meet His Excellency, the President of SWAPO and of the Republic of Namibia, we have not much comment save to clarify a few issues arising from the above article as follows:
The Readers Digest Power Dictionary defines the word “merge” as “blending or uniting or combining into something else”. Whereas the Burton’s Legal Thesaurus Dictionary defines the word ‘merge’ as “ to join forces or unify or unite whereas the word ‘merger’ is defined as “ unification or united front or partner”.
As per these definitions it means CANU is in partnership with SWAPO and should do so in a different partnership name. This is what practically I gather from the definitions.
For example, Tanganyika partnered with Zanzibar in a different name called “Chama Cha Mapinduzi”. Why should it be a problem to us? After all we are not in any way whatsoever saying Caprivi should be autonomous but what we are saying is that we should blend ourselves into a new name.
This is what is inserted in the agreement document between CANU and SWAPO and the duo also have it as such. We are just wondering why they are omitting the words “unite as one organization in a different name”.
In the document we submitted to His Excellency the words “unite as one organization in a different name” is therein inserted. In so far as this express term is not yet complied with it remains a matter of concern to CANU just as it has all along been a concern.
We also learn from the documents in our possession that, CANU had demanded for a Party constitution to be changed but it seemed that the partner was not willing to do so. The reason why CANU was and is still demanding for a Party constitution or for the amendment of the existing Party Constitutions is that, a Constitution as a fundamental document will reflect the will of both CANU and SWAPO as ruling classes and shall define the political and social establishment, the principles of the structure as well as the principles of proportional representation and the parties’ activities, the fundamental rights and duties and the electoral system of contesting for leadership positions which the duo seem to be scared that perhaps they will not get chance of so to contest for leadership positions even though none of them is a CANU or SWAPO activists.
In so far as the party constitutional issue is not yet resolved it remains pending and accordingly needs to be tackled head on. If I can ask a question, how many Caprivians are High commissioners or ambassadors?
Except for one who may be recalled soon there is none. This is just but one example for your homework so you can see that our complaint is genuine. In a merger agreement this should not be the case sirs. Another question is, who is on the place of Comrade Simbwaye as a vice president or Prime Minister?
As I said this is for your homework. Work it out and mark it yourself. Or on any national day or heroes’ day, who has ever heard the history of CANU being narrated as does with SWAPO? Homework. Mark it yourself. These are just but a few examples we can give you to open your eyes. Fine it is well with you but for us who suffered harsh conditions because of CANU it is not well. There need to be a correction.
To achieve the above, though the view of politics as a compromising and conciliatory activity might suggest that we are opposed to the idea of sovereignty and rule by a central authority, it is wrong to so reason, because such differences cannot be reconciled without some overarching authority, even if this is no more than the idea of agreement to be reached by the two parties and, this is why we have restructured ourselves as it has been the case all along and this is proved in the documents we have that CANU’s Executive Committee existed even after the merger agreement. Why can it not exist now?
Just as CANU members then felt they were not proportionally represented so we the current members feel the same because we have never been created to be first secretaries only neither were we created not to hold senior positions too.
We learn from the documents in our possession that one of the burning issues was that of representation where CANU demanded that the deputy army commander and the vice president be from CANU. It was correct and it is still correct.
The underlying ideal as regards equality between CANU and SWAPO is that, the parties as they decided to engage in a contractual relationship in the form of a merger agreement should enjoy equal bargaining positions of course taking into account or consideration that SWAPO is the majority Party. None is in a position to dictate upon the other.
We should consult each other and plan together etc. but the unfortunate part of it was that CANU structure was dismantled and totally dissolved where it was supposed not be so particularly when the name of the Party has not yet changed and a new Party Constitution drafted or amended. Fear became an antidote of the day which CANU members are injected with every morning.
We disagree that CANU merged into SWAPO. The reason being that in the book where others wavered, it is written in that paragraph that, we quote: finally we formalized the merger agreement between CANU and SWAPO.
Secondly, the Windhoek Observer also quoted one of the leaders as saying, we quote: he was sent to Lusaka, Zambia, in September 1964 to establish a SWAPO office at the town. In the same month, CANU merged with SWAPO (and not merged into as the duo tend to mislead the nation) after an agreement was reached between the two parties. To my knowledge there is a difference between with and into and as doctors as they claim to be should have familiarized themselves with these two terms before going locally and international. It is shame for a doctor not to know the difference between with and into.
In concurring with Mr Muyongo’s sentiments that whosoever raises the issue of the Caprivi was often labeled a tribalist and received a harsh opposition from SWAPO, Kangumu, in his book, Contesting Caprivi, wrote, we quote:
The above sentiments (referring to Mr Muyongo’s sentiments herein mentioned that whenever the issue of Caprivi is raised a harsh opposition will be meted upon you or labeled a tribalist) show that the issue of the 1964 agreement remains an emotionally and politically charged issue in contemporary Namibian politics.
As a result, it became shrouded in secrecy and near mystery since it was never openly discussed”, end of quote. With this comment why then should he complain when we want issues surrounding the agreement of 1964 discussed publicly? Is it double standard or unfaithfulness or he is looking for something? We should advice our partner to keep an eye on the duo for they are double standard people. Who is genuine here, the duo concurring with Mr Moyongo or we who wants issues to be resolved so we can leave in peace.
The terms of contract or agreement such as this one in question which were not expressly set out in the merger agreement document but which must have been intended to be included but could not do so because of either through forgetfulness, or bad drafting or at times by pure inadvertence are implied and accordingly are part of the contract.
In this case we read of CANU complaining that its partner was refusing to change the party constitution and this is proof that this term was intended to have been included in the agreement but because of perhaps bad drafting or forgetfulness or by pure inadvertence it was not expressly inserted in the agreement but it is implied and accordingly it is part of the contract or agreement.
On secessionism we have made it clear that, we are against and opposed in whatsoever way or manner or conduct or act to secessionism and we are also opposed in like manner to becoming part of Barotseland. Therefore alluding that CANU, which is part of the ruling class though not proportionally represented, is advocating for secessionism and to be part of Barotseland is a big error and you are warned not to associate a credible Party such as CANU to such foolish practices of UDP.
Never again should you do so. CANU is a partner of SWAPO, fought together, vote in the name of SWAPO and for SWAPO, campaigning for SWAPO, how then can it turn against itself? The fact that we want our internal differences to be resolved does not mean we have parted ways.
No sirs. We are consolidating our merger. Remember that by virtue of the merger CANU has the right to demand the implementation of the agreement .i.e finding a new name and drafting or amending the party constitution to accommodate what we previously mentioned in paragraph two above.
CANU cannot be revived or reformed because it exists as part of the ruling class. The only thing which was dormant is the structure.
This is why even our partner could not consult because she could not consult trees.
This is also the reason why such issues could not be discussed in 1990 because there was no structure but now that there is a structure together we shall move forward for progress and development, which we all cherish. We are one heading for a total unification, which has pended for a long time now.
In conclusion, therefore, we dismiss with all contempt it deserves the article of the duo published on 1 June 2012 in the New Era.
• Alex “Poison” Kamwi