Nujoma Hate: Old Habits Die Hard

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Swapo Party President and Founding Father of the Nation, Dr Sam Nujoma under attack (it cannot be allowed to go unchallenged). The latest article published in the Windhoek Observer of Saturday May 13, ” And still they stood by Nujoma,” written by a certain protÃÆ’Æ‘Æ‘ÃÆ”šÃ‚©gÃÆ’Æ‘Æ‘ÃÆ”šÃ‚©, a so-called ” True daughter of the Namibian soil,” has let the cat out of the bag. It has let the cat out of the bag in terms of its content and tone which will not need a rocket scientist or conspiracy investigator and analyst to trace to its real source and its previous sister articles which were already published by the same newspaper (Windhoek Observer) such as articles by a certain Jonathan Cobra, Kopano, and now by a true daughter of the Namibian soil. The objective of my piece is not directly to respond to the personal insults and innuendoes directed against the person of the founding president, Dr Sam Nujoma, but rather to address certain worrying patterns and trends of articles referred to above and the potential consequences thereof. Basing my analysis on communication science models, the conclusion is reached that all the articles written by the Cobras, Kopanos and the true daughter of the soil share similar patterns, be it in terms of language, style, the strong tone of Anti-Nujoma/Anti-Pohamba and pro-Hidipo Hamutenya. And while we are still here, can you take note of a saying which goes, “A fruit does not fall/land far from its mother plant/tree.” Be that as it may, I will not respond point to point to the baseless and uncalled-for personal insults hurled against the founding president, but I will rather address principle issues which need to be taken into consideration, and which no one should lose sight of if we are to consolidate a culture of political fair play and tolerance in this country. Political fair play will naturally require that if the SWAPO Party through its top leadership, office of the president, vice-president, secretary general, and deputy secretary general or even the politburo and central committee has taken a firm stand to condemn and denounce the writing of a certain Ananius Nghifihkeko, why have we not heard the party leadership pronouncing themselves strongly against the writing of the Cobras, Kopanos, Shakankas and the Namibian daughter of the soil? Hence in the absence of the party leadership not pronouncing itself vocally and firmly on the writings of the Kopanos, Cobras, etc., who share common political sentiments and all propagate Anti-Nujoma/Anti-Pohamba but pro-Hidipo Hamutenya (praise-singing and god-worshiping Hamutenya) propaganda, then I’m compelled to make the following analysis to protect and defend the legacy of SWAPO. The Anti-Nujoma propaganda, which started before the SWAPO Party extra-ordinary congress and soon after Nujoma nominated Pohamba as his successor, looks set to continue to the next watershed SWAPO Party Congress filed for next year, if not into the future. Now my worry is not about the democratic right of expression and the choice of the Cobras, Kopanos and a true daughter of the Namibian soil concerning their favourite/preferred man for presidency, but my concern is with regard to the erosion of established SWAPO Party values of openness and collectivism which are being eroded by the writings of the Cobras and Kopanos, etc. And what worries me also is the lack of the pronouncement of the party leadership on the writings of these fellows who are constantly insulting the founding president, and at the same time attacking the legacy of collective leadership of SWAPO with impunity. As a matter of fact, the name of one party cadre is perpetually used (comrade Hidipo Hamutenya) to justify the unwarranted attacks while other party cadres such as founding president Nujoma and others are crucified and vilified in the process of praising comrade Hamutenya. This situation should not be allowed to prevail. It is about time that the party pronounces itself on this issue. We all know that on several occasions now, comrade Hamutenya has indicated that he cannot be held responsible or accountable for the actions of people who are his supporters or who act in his name. Perhaps this may be true, if we are to go by the new culture which negates the value of SWAPO Party’s collective and accountable leadership. But let us face it, here you have a SWAPO leader whose name is used in a fashion of a mini-god in order to condemn, curse and demonize others, while he himself cannot officially distance himself from the actions of those who are doing that, and this while the party leadership under some of the same leaders who are daily being insulted in the press and over the NBC radio phone-in programs like the founding president Sam Nujoma, condemn some writers and remain quiet on the poisonous writings of some writers like the Cobras and the daughter of the Namibian soil. Where is the party discipline here? Why selective morality and what should the followers take as a norm or as good political culture? Where are we headed? Therefore, because the party has failed to pronounce itself and as comrade HH has openly said he does not intend to call his supporters to order for the sake of reconciliation, political tolerance and unity in the party, and in light of the entire SWAPO liberation struggle history being under attack through the attack on the SWAPO president, may some of us ask the following questions or make observations on some of the issues being raised. Perhaps, before I raise my observations, let me point out that I’m tempted to make the observations because the legacy of the liberation struggle under the able leadership of Dr Sam Nujoma is being put under attack and is under threat by those who are destroying it for the sake of one party cadre at the expense of all the others, comrade Hidipo Hamutenya. This is not fair as the SWAPO Party legacy should be put and protected above personalities and personal differences. If we go by the sentiments and political writings of those ostracizing and vilifying the founding president while praise-singing comrade Hidipo Hamutenya, the conclusion is that Nujoma is being put on trial and condemned for having been a leader of SWAPO during the liberation struggle and for having been the Head of State for 15 years. Nujoma is portrayed as if he was running SWAPO and PLAN alone in exile, and as if he had been running Namibia for 15 years alone and only alone but we all know that is not true. That is where the problem is because we all know that this is not true, because we all know that during the liberation struggle, SWAPO was run collectively by the SWAPO leadership through its leadership structures, and during the past 16 years Namibia as a democratic state was governed through the machinery of the Namibian state, the executive, the judiciary and the legislature, but not by Nujoma and Nujoma alone as the Cobras and Kopanos want us to believe. This story of the Kopanos, Cobras and the daughter of the Namibian soil is both historically, intellectually, morally and politically corrupt. It is politically, intellectually, morally and historically corrupt because it is based on distortions of history, thereby corrupting the moral political foundation of our post-independent state on the basis of political sour grapes of those who failed to make it to State House through the democratic process of the SWAPO Party extra-ordinary congress. The vilification and crucifixion of Nujoma for his past roles as the President of SWAPO, former Commander-in-Chief of PLAN, and as former president of the Republic of Namibia are not only in bad taste or too low, but negatively portray a culture of Africa because Africans don’t fight people who have gone (or retired) – and this can clearly be demonstrated by the fact that Africans do not take revenge or retaliate as clearly demonstrated by the policy of national reconciliation in this country. This thing of fighting retired president Nujoma for having nominated and supported the incumbent president Pohamba reflects badly on the part of those who are pursuing this unholy crusade. For heaven sake, the irony is that those who are waging this unholy anti-Nujoma and anti-Pohamba crusade are those who were groomed and who benefited under Nujoma’s leadership over the years. They were part and parcel of the SWAPO leadership under Nujoma during the exile days and for the past 16 years. And in view of this, one is compelled to ask if it is only now that some of the leaders, like the one being praised for the crucifixion of Sam Nujoma are now waking up with their allegations. Why were they quiet on Nujoma’s alleged misdeeds and bad leadership all these years? Why now? How do you exonerate yourself from the misdeeds of a so-called con-master, amongst other misdeeds, if there is nowhere it is reported that you once publicly demonstrated or protested against the misdeeds of such a person … after you failed to get what you wanted? Where and when has comrade Hamutenya, who is praised as a tested cadre, protested about Nujoma’s alleged bad leadership all these years? In what is tantamount to a negation of SWAPO’s political and cultural values, we are being told that Nujoma was responsible and is the one to be blamed for the most unfortunate and sad issue of the Lubango dungeons. In the article in which Nujoma is accused of this, comrade Hidipo Hamutenya is praised or exonerated from SWAPO’s collective leadership. Now, one is forced to reflect on that historical fact, that as far as one can remember, it was comrade Hidipo Hamutenya as the then secretary of information and publicity, who travelled the world with SWAPO detainee video cassettes, happily preaching to convince the world how the South Africa apartheid regime had infiltrated SWAPO with enemy agents or spies. Surely, those who are talking about or playing with this sad historical issue should ask Hamutenya to tell the world why he was doing that. Nujoma is unfairly accused of having destroyed others in exile. But may we also be told who plotted and engineered the removal of former acting SWAPO secretary of defence, Comrade Richard Kapelwa. Was it not Nujoma who refused Kapelwa to be thrown out of the SWAPO or PLAN Military Council because of his commitment to tribal and ethnical balancing? Was it not Nujoma who reasoned that for balancing purposes and because of Kapelwa’s experience, SWAPO will not allow Kapelwa to be thrown out of the SWAPO military affairs department where he had worked for years? And because of Nujoma’s progressive leadership and his balancing the interests of the Namibian nation, he was the one who appointed Kapelwa as senior advisor to the president of SWAPO, on military affairs. Was it not Nujoma for the same reason of tribal balancing who always defended or protected the likes of Peter Katjavivi, David Meroro and others when some people from the so-called dominant clan wanted them to be undermined and forced out of the SWAPO leadership? Was it not the cunning and evil misdeeds of some, that plotted and engineered through the SWAPO Central Committee meetings in Luanda the removal of Peter Katjavivi from the position of SWAPO secretary of information and publicity, and eventually from the position of SWAPO chief representative to London, UK? Was it not the same person who argued in the SWAPO Central Committee meetings, campaigning for the removal of Katjavivi from the position, which he later occupied because he considered it a strategic position? Was it not the same man who later plotted and engineered the removal of Peter Katjavivi from the position of SWAPO chief representative, only to be replaced by longstanding friend comrade ambassador Kaukungwa? Who will forget how this clique of friends connived and arrived in London, after they secured an appointment letter from the SWAPO president, changed the locks and keys of the SWAPO office in London, and treated Katjavivi as if he was a criminal? Where and when was Nujoma running SWAPO alone in exile? Nujoma is accused of unitarily removing comrade Ben Amathila, but can the truth be also told as to who used to go to the north, especially to Ohangwena Region, to mobilize some businessmen and traditional leaders who were instigated to protest and complain that Ben Amathila was failing to represent their business and economic interests? Some business people who were poisoned with these lies in the north are still alive, and today they regret why they ever believed in the cunning plot of the removal of Amathila. The same fashion was used in the last campaign for succession to the presidency for one SWAPO politician now being praised by the Cobras and Kopanos as the only tested and intelligent SWAPO leader to run a succeeding economy, and used by some of his campaign managers for the removal of comrade Amathila. Reference is made to the issue of Hage Geingob, Ben Ulenga, etc. Was it not Hidipo Hamutenya supporters who used to call Geingob all sorts of derogatory names, Kwangala, etc., who distorted and undermined the harmonious working relationship between him and the founding president? And is it not saying it all that they are still referring to him as the master of political opportunism – clearly demonstrating that they have not declared a ceasefire against him as they still regard him as potential future competitor to the throne. Name-calling and slandering is their art of the political game. As a matter of fact, it is on record that at one point Hidipo Hamutenya himself was quoted in the press as having said, “For one to leave SWAPO is to go into loneliness”, in reference to Ben Ulenga when he was fired from SWAPO? Where is the sympathy for Ben Ulenga coming from all of a sudden? All the above people are being used as a way of mobilizing sympathy and solidarity in an unholy crusade against Nujoma. Nujoma’s crime is that he has nominated and campaigned for Pohamba’s presidency. It is clear there is no ceasefire on the part of those who campaigned against Pohamba. The strategy is very clear that one of Pohamba’s strong supporting pillars should be weakened or knocked down so that they easily get to him, Pohamba. We are told he is the most unifying factor from a series of articles used to praise him while attacking the founding president? But if we are to dig into the past or analyse the traits of SWAPO leaders as is being done against Nujoma who is compared to comrade Hamutenya, Hidipo Hamutenya used to summon some reporters from Namibia Today to his former office at the Ministry of Trade and Industry and together with them write articles countering the Lubango dungeon stories. Now all of sudden, he is being distanced from the Lubango issue which is now being portrayed as Nujoma’s baby. This is the very same Hidipo Hamutenya who controlled many SWAPO former journalists and reporters on remote control as their boss and methodologically persevered as party ideologue … and white liberal journalists like Gwen Lister whom he held in disrespect and saw as a threat to the Namibian State. Many of these SWAPO journalists are still roaming the streets of Windhoek, some now unemployed. Should they be asked, I’m sure some of them will reveal the story of Hidipo Hamutenya vs Gwen Lister? Sometimes, politics is an art of joining together strange bedfellows, and this looks to be so true given the unofficial declared solidarity between the supporters, sympathizers of Hidipo Hamutenya-Gwen Lister, linked on the crusade of Anti-Nujoma and Anti-Pohamba paroxysm. Perhaps this new solidarity link is informed and influenced by the premise that apparently the enemy of your enemy becomes your friend? By the way, who conceived and sold the idea of the banning of the Namibian newspaper which seems to have caused Gwen Lister to hate Nujoma to an extent that she has turned everything personal? Who used to spread rumours that Nujoma seems to want to promote white liberals, and it looked like he wanted to appoint Gwen Lister as Minister of Information and Broadcasting? Who used to wage a blockage campaign against the appointment of Gwen Lister, and who used to spread rumours and dirty stories against the likes of Michaele HÃÆ’Æ‘Æ‘ÃÆ”šÃ‚¼bschle that they were unqualified white liberals appointed by Sam Nujoma, but who were unfit to be on the leadership of SWAPO and its government? Nujoma never chaired SWAPO Women’s Council conferences and meetings, but do your own investigations to find out stories which were said against the likes of HÃÆ’Æ‘Æ‘ÃÆ”šÃ‚¼bschle, and why it was said to be unjustifiable for Nujoma to keep them in government. The very same tactics and strategies are now advanced for President Pohamba to fire the so-called Nujoma loyalists, the ones which were used to destroy the likes of HÃÆ’Æ‘Æ‘ÃÆ”šÃ‚¼bschle and Gwen Lister at some SWAPO Women’s Council conferences. It is therefore not surprising that the same strategies and tactics are now being employed against Pohamba-Nujoma supporters because old habits do not go easily. Lazarus Kalomo Okuryangava, Katutura