To Live in Harmony We Need a Vibrant, Democratic Society

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By Kuvee Kangueehi Rundu The former Secretary of the Swapo Party Women Council (SPWC), Eunice Iipinge, says there is growing concern about complacency among the members of the Swapo Party and its wings. Opening the 5th SPWC Congress in Rundu last week Friday, Iipinge said complacency could notably be seen in the absence of structures at grassroots level and the non-attendance at party meetings. She warned that the fact that the ruling party has been winning national elections since independence did not mean that its members should rest on their laurels. Iipinge urged party members to work harder to safeguard and consolidate the party victories. She urged all party members, especially those of SPWC, to go back to their respective regions and set up structures. “Being a committed member of SPWC does not only mean shouting slogans. It also means attending meetings, constantly pushing the agenda of the SPWC, recruiting and setting up structures.” She added that in order for the Swapo Party to achieve its goals of a gender balance, women must participate at all levels of the party structures such as the Elders Council and the Youth league. Iipinge said the party must educate women to lobby for support and vote for other women. “As custodians of our families, as care-givers, as nurturers, we owe it to ourselves.” She added that members were aware of the events that have been taking place within the party in the last three years. “I would like to remind all of us that there is only one Swapo, and it belongs to all of us!” She said unity and commitment to the ideals of the party carried them through the worst times of the struggle and the party emerged victorious. Thus, in an independent Namibia the same commitment and dedication are needed more than ever before. “We need to eradicate poverty, roll back the HIV/Aids pandemic and create a vibrant, democratic society in which all Namibians can live in peace and harmony.” The former secretary also paid tribute to the SPWC, saying that since its inception in 1969 it had played a leading role in successfully rallying behind Namibian women to the cause of liberation and in the transformation process after independence. She noted that this could never have been achieved without the leadership and courageous acts of the many women luminaries such as Putuse Appolus, Penny Hashoongo, Natalia Mavulu, Erica Ramakutla, Gertrude Kandanga, and many others. Iipinge also lavished praise on Namibia’s President Hifikepunye Pohamba and said that since he took over, the economy has done well and the anti-rape bill was promulgated, the Anti-Corruption Commission was established, while antiretroviral treatment was made available to people living with HIV/Aids. “SPWC sponsored a resolution setting up a government fund for orphans and vulnerable children, which was implemented.” She also extended gratitude to the Founding Father, Sam Nujoma, for having laid the foundation for promoting gender equality. Iipinge lost her position to the deputy minister of Health and Social Services, Petrina Haingura.