By Engel Nawatiseb
The Chief of the Bunza tribe in the Kavango Region, Hompa Alfons Kaundu, says the doors of his palace are closed for entry by opposition political parties who dare campaign for political support from the Chief and his clan.
Kaundu blasted some opposition leaders for lobbying him to join the opposition despite the fact that they (opposition) have been turning a blind eye to him and the Bunza community.
“I say shame on them because they were vigorously trying of late to seek appointments with me to discuss political issues now that they know that elections are around the corner. They dare not come to me whether they are old or new parties.
“Keep away from the Hompas and Fumus in the Kavango Region. We are Swapo sympathizers and supporters and are loyal to the party that brought us independence and national development,” said Kaundu.
The momentum was already set in motion with the arrival of retired first Swapo Party President and Leader of the Namibian Revolution, Dr Sam Shafishuna Nujoma, who arrived at Sharukwe village to a tumultuous welcome on Sunday, four days before polls open to elect a regional councillor for the Rural West constituency in the Kavango Region.
The bi-election was called following the resignation of a former Swapo representative in that constituency.
Several top leaders of the party including ministers, Hompas, mayors, councillors and thousands of Swapo Party supporters waited anxiously at the site of the star rally to get a glimpse of the veteran leader who made his first appearance in the region after the party’s fourth congress where he reiterated his retirement.
Trucks and pick-ups jammed with singing Swapo supporters honked incessantly, while many thousands more crowded the streets to welcome him.
“Tatekulu Nujoma he inspired, he united the Namibian nation, he does not know discrimination, and he empowers. Nujoma is ours. We will remember you for your contributions towards the struggle for liberation and what you have done for us after independence. Never, but never will the Kavango region forget about you, our diamond,” enthused one supporter.
The Munguli Cultural group, St Gerhart Choir and the Ndillimani band were also at hand to receive the Founding President and Father of the Nation.
Young and old wearing Swapo T-shirts vigorously waved the blue, red and green flags of the ruling party while two pick-up trucks transporting supporters of the Republiken Party (RP) could be seen patrolling the village and chanting RP slogans.
But no incidents of violence and or intimidation were reported.
“Let them campaign in their own style, we are all Namibians and have the right to belong to any party of our choice as long as we uphold the spirit of peace, and live in love and national reconciliation,” said a Swapo elderly.
Nujoma presented the Swapo Party candidate, Rosa Kunyanda Kavara, to a close to 4 000 supporters and urged them to vote her into power to enable the party (Swapo) to continue its development agenda for the constituency.
Swapo is expected to win the elections in part because of its base of support amongst the Sambyu people in the constituency.
The Rundu Rural West constituency was captured and governed by the ruling party since independence.
Nujoma underscored the importance of leaders in various electing regions. “Regional and local councillors play a prominent and active role in promoting activities that enhance economic growth and create employment opportunities through the mobilization of their communities to participate fully in economic development.
“Regional councillors also complement our Government’s efforts in the implementation of the Swapo Party Election Manifesto which is the guiding light of our party and Government as we embark upon the second phase of the struggle for economic independence,” said Nujoma.
Nujoma hailed the people of the Kavango Region for their collective vision to develop the region, while re-assuring them that the Swapo-led Government would remain committed to empowering communities through decentralization.
“Decentralization enhances and guarantees participatory democracy among our communities, but more importantly, through this approach we are bringing government services closer to the people in order to improve the capacity of regional and local authorities to plan, implement, manage and monitor the delivery of services to all our people.”
He said new constituency offices were constructed at Mpungu, Kahenge, Mashare, Ndiyona, Mukwe and Ncuncuni while the Kapako constituency in currently under construction.
Nujoma added that the constituency offices will serve as planning centres where respective communities could initiate development projects that would uplift their standards of living and thereby eradicate poverty and unemployment in the country.
“These are but of the many achievements of the Swapo Party Government over the years as it continues to execute its mandate as a ruling party for the past 17 years.”
He lashed out at opposition parties that reportedly use “cheap” politics by misleading the electorate by presenting untruths about the ruling party’s contribution to the development of the country.
“It is a shame for some opposition politicians to go around the country spreading lies and misleading Namibians that the Swapo Party Government has done nothing.”
Nujoma expressed confidence in the maturity levels of Namibians, trusting that they wouldn’t be easily misled.