In response to the recent subjective media reports of The Namibian newspaper of October 18 and 19, 2007, the Swapo Party Youth League would like to correct Ms Gwen Lister and Mr Christof Maletsky and at the same time put the records straight to the nation as it was communicated at the press conference held on October 17, 2007, by SPYL Secretary Comrade Elijah Ngurare.
First and foremost, Mr Maletsky was present at the press conference. However, for reasons known to him, upon arriving at The Namibian newspaper, he became indifferent and disingenuous to the truth of the SPYL Media Conference.
The Namibian newspaper must be informed that we are the youth of the SWAPO Party and the people on whose hands the future of Namibia depends and fully secured if given space by subjective reporters.
We have a duty and a huge responsibility to build this nation. Ours is to engage, realize and achieve Vision 2030 than to reply to your newspaper articles which, sadly, are born out of a high degree of intellectual dishonesty.
1. The Namibian Newspaper of Thursday October 18 2007 front page under the Heading ‘SWAPO Youth Feel Hard Done By’ written by Mr Christof Maletsky.
Mr Maletsky wrongly reported that ‘SWAPO’s younger members have called on the party cadres in top positions to give them jobs and tenders as part of youth empowerment’. This concocted fairytale was attributed to the SPYL Secretary, Cde Ngurare.
SPYL Response: Mr Maletsky lacked a total understanding of the resolution number 20, under Economy, which reads as follows: Congress expressed with concern the ongoing obstacles preventing the previously disadvantaged people to participate in production and to gain access to markets.
Congress also noted the Government’s progress in empowering the Black Namibians, specifically to the allocation of Tenders and Contracts to Black Entrepreneurs. It, however, placed emphasis on its call for Government to review and increase incentives as a form of enhancing production and industries in Namibia.
In the same breath, it resolved that allocation of tenders and contracts be accorded to Black Entrepreneurs as a matter of priority.
The driving factor of the abovementioned resolution is to redress social and economic inequalities that came as a result of the legacies of racial discrimination under apartheid (and Ms Lister and her reporter are knowledgeable of this making).
The level of inequality remains high in Namibia by international standards (World Bank, 2007). It is against this scenario that this resolution was born to put more emphasis on addressing the current inequalities in the Namibian economy in view of the hardship endured by Black Namibians and Black Entrepreneurs and not Young Members of SWAPO as negatively alleged by Mr Maletsky.
The words Black Namibian and Black Entrepreneurs are generic terms for non-whites who were discriminated against. It must be categorically clear that not all non-whites are young members of SWAPO and our objective is empowering the previously disadvantaged Namibians through social justice, economic growth and transformation.
Furthermore resolution number 28: Congress resolved that the SWAPO Party Youth League enhance its footprint in the economy, and proactively seek out and engage in business opportunities in various sectors of the economy, acknowledging that the present scenario leaves a lot to be desired and henceforth, call upon those SWAPO Party Cadres in Position of Authority to ensure that SPYL Enterprises are supported and guided appropriately to ensure that the SPYL enterprises and in general, SWAPO Party enterprises are capable of generating revenue to the advancement of the SPYL and the SWAPO Party programmes.
To put the records straight: Our call upon cadres in positions of authority to ensure that SPYL enterprises are supported: it literally means buying from our enterprises or to be our customers – simple. Whereas guided appropriately: intend to seek wisdom from our elders in the Party for the sustainability of our enterprises and to provide accurate, relevant and useful information of existing business opportunities.
It’s an open secret that the SPYL is the only Youth League in Namibia with viable projects and booming enterprises which are contributing significantly to the growth of the Namibian economy.
2. The Namibian of Friday October 19, 2007 front Page ‘Guided Democracy’: SPYL. The same Mr Maletsky wrote: ‘SWAPO’s Youth League does not want elections at the forthcoming party congress where the party’s leader for over 45 years, Sam Nujoma, is expected to hand over the reins. Instead, the young members want the Party’s Politburo to give the congress four names – that of the President, Vice President, the Secretary General and Deputy of Secretary of General – for endorsement. Mr Maletsky was supported by his boss Ms Lister who in her Political Perspective wrote: “Guided democracy is what they now euphemistically term the abandonment of an open contest for top positions in the party.” Ms Lister went on to accuse the SPYL that “almost everything about the Youth League is undemocratic and it is a great pity, because in most societies it is the voice and actions of the youth that propel a country forward and not backward”. And she went on to call the SPYL “a glorified Sam Nujoma Fan Club”.
A) To put the records straight: As a matter of fact the SPYL Central Committee called upon the Politburo and Central Committee of SWAPO Party to exhaust all internal democratic processes and provide the rank and file of the entire movement with a list of preferred candidates for the top positions. This is with a view to preventing internal discontent between comrades and to ensure maximum unity among the party cadres. Obviously for Ms Lister and Maletsky, they are fighting for their constituency which is ever paranoid and hallucinating about the day SWAPO will be in their ‘remote-controlled’ democracy. No, Ms Lister, such trickery can only happen in Iraq and not in Namibia. Do tell all and sundry that that is our message!
B) By Guided Democracy – we do not mean no election or no open contest or limited democracy as alluded to by the Namibian newspaper, but what we are saying and putting forward as our common denominator is inclusive political participation of all SWAPO members who are vying for the top four positions in SWAPO Party. Furthermore, all the interested comrades must be afforded relevant and fresh information and no one, and we mean no one, should be excluded and consequently the Politburo and the Central Committee of SWAPO Party must agree and collectively provide four names.
The SPYL Central Committee strongly believes that democracy must be nurtured in order to sustain it and to keep it alive. The progressive step which the SPYL has taken is to suggest the path for eternity and everlasting maximum democracy without casualties. We are fully convinced that this is a code of good democratic practice. Above all SWAPO brought democracy to Namibia and we are renowned worldwide as progressive teachers in this field.
C) A Glorified Sam Nujoma Fan Club: Ms Lister and your associates kindly be informed that Comrade Sam Nujoma, President of the SWAPO Party, is equal to none in Namibia and internationally. He is humanity, a life reference, a political dictionary and an asset to our survival and as such you can call us whatever name or names but for Comrade Nujoma the SWAPO Party Youth League and the SWAPO Party Pioneer Movement shall not slumber.
It is with this great sense of pride that the SPYL CC wholeheartedly welcomed the President of SWAPO’s wish of having His Excellency President of Namibia, Cde Hifikepunye Pohamba and Vice President of the Party, to be the candidate for the Party Presidency at the upcoming Party Congress in November. The SPYL supports the sole candidature of Comrade Hifikepunye Pohamba as President of SWAPO Party.
3. Mr Maletsky went on to incorrectly write that Cde Elijah Ngurare said, “SPYL did not want a repeat of the 2002 extraordinary congress”. As a matter of fact the Congress made reference of 2004 and not 2002 as falsely stated by Ms Lister’s reporter.
4. On International Relations, Ms Lister intentionally and deliberately claims that SPYL knows little to nothing of the world we live in. SPYL only knows Zimbabwe, Namibia and a bit of Cuba and not Darfur.
The SPYL regards this as a serious insult to the 4th SPYL Congress Delegates’ intelligence, an insult to the SPYL Central Committee’s Intellectual capacity, an insult to the SWAPO Party Pioneer Movement as well as an insult to the NEC of SPYL and would like to advise, if not to warn Ms Lister, to refrain from such serious destructive and provocative statements, now.
5. In Conclusion, the new Leadership of the SPYL has muscle and capacity to fight and find everlasting solutions to the problems the Namibian Youth are facing today. This is our immediate priority and not the Namibian newspaper’s or its sole owner, Ms Lister, or Mr Maletsky’s, we have more reasons and resources to work together than to fight each other.
We need each other and that is true. Let us build our Motherland for the common good of the ordinary Namibian citizens first and personal interest last. Our appeal to Ms Lister and her servant Maletsky is to refrain from propagating hatred in your newspaper.
Instead, you should have a duty to inform and educate objectively the youth of our country who read your newspaper.
If you have personal vendettas against SWAPO Party or SWAPO Party Youth League do not abuse the platform of your newspaper to insult and distort the truth; doing so is the worst crime of conscience you can ever commit to a country and people you pretentiously call your own.
‘Long live SWAPO Party; Long Live the Republic of Namibia.’
Secretary for Information, Publicity and Mobilization.