By Petronella Sibeene WINDHOEK Prime Minister Nahas Angula has warned Swapo Party members not to pay allegiance to group interests, saying such practices could be the beginning of digging the party’s grave. Angula, who was speaking during the 46th anniversary celebrations of the Swapo Party in the Khomas Region at the weekend stated, “we should remind ourselves that individualism, self-enrichment and other tendencies bring about serious contradictions in the party, in the process weakening it and that’s it.” The evidence of this is the disintegration of some political parties in Africa. He advised that as a small country, Namibians should rather look at the ideals of the party and not necessarily individuals to continue building the country at both social and economical levels. Reflecting on the 46 years of the party’s existence, Angula noted that it is important that citizens uphold the principles of public service and learn to be honest in order to encourage the spirit of justice and solidarity. “Peace and stability will by and large depend on people and the party. How we maintain these two is important,” stated Angula. He described the period from the 1960s until 1989 as the period of loss of many Namibians, stressing: “We were supposed to have been 10 million people but we are hardly two million because the genocide robbed us of our citizens.” As the country enjoys peace and stability, he emphasized that it is important to recall the circumstances under which the Swapo party was founded. And as citizens remember these circumstances, it is equally fitting that they also appreciate the sacrifices made by nationalists, freedom fighters, heroes and heroines, lest their blood was shed in vain. The young people today were reminded that they are lucky as they did not fall victim to the colonial oppression but enjoy freedom. “The young people know (the national) anthem, (the) constitution and see the flag.” Angula described Namibia as a nation that rose out of the ashes of sacrifice and upon attainment of independence, the spirit of division and bitterness towards those believed to have sided with the enemy could still be felt. However, after 16 years of enjoying freedom, the Swapo Party still left the door open for national reconciliation. Since the struggle was not only about regaining dignity but also development, the fight today continues given the fact that the country is faced with what the Premier termed “unholy alliances”. These are HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis. The recently tablet budget for 2006/7 shows a N$3-billion allocation towards education and training, a demonstration of commitment towards human capital development. On the health front, he says the party is prepared to bring in foreign expertise to provide additional health care. “As we resist colonialism, we are faced with challenges of eradicating poverty, creating employment for the youth, and promoting health. These challenges will be tackled by Swapo with dedication,” concluded Angula.
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