By Catherine Sasman
Newly elected president of the ruling Swapo Party and President of Namibia, Hifikepunye Pohamba, has proposed a written code of conduct for all Swapo Party members.
Pohamba was speaking at the inaugural Swapo Party Politburo meeting on Tuesday evening.
He also proposed a disciplinary committee be established, which was also a resolution that was made at the fourth Swapo Party Congress at the end of last month.
The resolution, the party said, was prompted by “lack of discipline” among some party members.
“These tools will help to clarify issues related to the norms of conduct of all party members and provide for the holding of disciplinary hearings for members who violate the code of conduct,” said Pohamba, adding that these instruments would further ensure consistency and procedural fairness in dealing with issues of alleged indiscipline.
“It will also help strengthen the democratic culture within our party at all levels,” said Pohamba to the 21 members of the newly constituted Politburo.
He stressed that the party should remain a dynamic mass movement, saying that there is no place for tribalism, regionalism and factionalism within the party.
“The Swapo Party should continue to remain the political party of choice to the overwhelming majority of Namibians, if not all Namibians,” Pohamba said.
He urged party members to be united as they were before independence and welcomed the infusion of new blood into the party’s structures.
Analysts hailed this infusion as a step in the right direction and as indicating growth and progress within the Swapo Party.
Two notable new faces on the Politburo are Uutoni Nujoma and Asser Kapere.
Pohamba reminded Politburo members that the Swapo Party constitution places “enormous” duties on the structure, with its foremost function being that of policy formulation during Central Committee meetings.
This body is also tasked with putting into practice all decisions, resolutions and directives of the party’s congress and its Central Committee.
The Swapo Party congress made 30 resolutions, focussing strongly on economic empowerment and the nagging issue of unemployment.
Other resolutions deal with the reform and restructuring of the education system; an intensification of the fight against the HIV/Aids pandemic; human resources and the need to strengthen Swapo regional structures and the establishment of a party school, for which N$1 million is sought.
Another resolution made is for the party to further explore ways to improve the conditions of senior citizens and other vulnerable groups.
Others relate to mining, fishing and agriculture, tourism development, social empowerment, gender equality and youth development.
The party has been criticised for its resolution on the media, where it called on the Government to establish a media council to regulate the activities and operations of the local press. Fears have been raised that this could lead to undue control over the media and hence stifle freedom of expression.
Pohamba said the Swapo Party should engage relevant stakeholders and institutions to address unemployment among women and the youth and to deliver high-quality public service.
He stressed the need to explore solar power for homes, schools, clinics and businesses.
“The promotion of employment creation and economic growth, as well as the provision of social amenities, form part and parcel of the second phase of our struggle to empower our people economically and build a brighter future for our country,” said Pohamba.
The new secretary general of the party, Minister of Justice and Attorney General, Pendukeni Iivula-Ithana, told New Era that the Politburo meeting discussed a number of post-congress issues, and that these were not for public consumption.