By Anna Shilongo
Much has been said about the Omusati Region especially as home to the so-called “Omusati Clique”. New Era approached Omusati Governor Sacky Kayone, who is the governor of the country’s second most populous region, to find out where the name “Omusati Clique” came from.
We also spoke to him about other issues concerning the region, including the intended inroads by the Rally for Democracy and progress (RDP) into the region.
Q: Why is the Omusati Region regarded as a notorious region politically speaking?
A: That is a strange statement to the people of Omusati Region. Omusati is part and parcel of Namibia. The region was established in 1992 and we have seven structures that exist.
We are a unique region in that all our people are united. We are working together even in leadership crises.
We also have a way of approaching issues of development. Although the region is a rural area, 70 percent of our people have access to potable water while 30 percent have access to electricity.
When it comes to politics, our people understand their constitutional rights in terms of the rights of association and assembly, but they choose through democratic processes to ensure that the Swapo party does not accept defeat from opposition parties.
Other parties are also welcome to contest in our region but they failed to secure constituencies just by the choice of the people.
They were not denied their rights, neither did we stop them from contesting in the region. It is their democratic right to contest wherever they feel like. Opposition parties can never secure seats in our region. They also know that.
Q: Why is everybody talking about Omusati Region? What’s so special about the region?
A: Talking about the region itself, we have a capable, stable administration and leadership. All Government structures represented in the region are coordinating their programmes – the left hand knows what the right hand is doing. The region is so transparent in a way that we inform one another and all steps taken are for the benefit of our people.
We coordinate and collaborate with one another and we use our resources adequately. The region has also learnt how to live with problems and tries to tackle them in terms of development, and politically and socially.
Q: Why “Omusati Clique” then?
A: The name “Omusati Clique” is a meaningless name to us, a name that we don’t understand, we need someone to interpret to us the meaning behind the so-called “Omusati Clique”. I strongly feel it’s an offending statement because we are part and parcel of the country. Why should we have a unique name and who initiated the concept of that name?
Q: What are your hopes and expectations from the Swapo party congress?
A: This is not the first time the Swapo party is holding a congress. This is actually the fourth congress of the party. I hope it will emerge successful and the delegates will be able to elect among each other, suitable and capable Swapo leaders that will still lead the party for the next five years.
I would like to see the congress discussing issues pertaining to the development of our country such as the way forward for Vision 2030.
It should also call for the continued peace and stability of the country, hence these are the pre-conditions for economic development.
As a Swapo member, I would like to see the Swapo party grow from strength to strength. Swapo party is here to stay and we should keep it that way.
Q: What about the Rally for Democracy and Progress, is the party making inroads in the Omusati Region?
A: I don’t know if there are any RDP supporters. If there are, I am not aware of them and I can also not speak on behalf of all people.
In our region, we only hear about RDP through radio, television and newspapers, but up to now we haven’t received a single person who came out openly saying I belong to the RDP or I am resigning from the Swapo Party. If there are people belonging to the RDP, they are invisible.
Q: The Rally for Democracy and progress has vowed to dent Swapo’s two-thirds majority. Do you see this happening to your party and the Omusati Region?
A: Not really. RDP is yet to be tested. It’s an untested party and for me, it’s not a challenge at all. Neither is it a threat because all these people emerged from the Swapo Party.
This is also not the first time that another party breaks out of Swapo. Andreas Shipanga was the first person to break away from the party (Swapo) during the colonial era, followed by Mishake Muyongo. After independence Ben Ulenga followed suit and now it’s Jesaya Nyamu and Hidipo Hamutenya.
The country is yet to see what will happen but for us, it is not a threat. The Swapo party remains stable and they all come and go – it’s nothing new. We are never worried about them. What is important is the security of the country. And despite our different political affiliations, I hope we will all fight towards one goal, which is development.
Q: How do you see internal democracy in the Swapo party?
A: Swapo party has a constitution with democratic principles. The party exercises its internal democratic rights. Time has been invested in to the party’s constitution and all ideas enshrined are sorted out with various ideas and principles that could suit the party for a period of five years.
The outcome is always a common agreement on ideas that emerged through the serious concept of all leaders.
Q: What are some of the challenges faced by your region?
A: Omusati Region is a rural region with a population of about 228ǟ