By Anna Ingwafa
Swapo Deputy President Hage Geingob told a huge crowd of ruling Swapo Party supporters that there is no party in Namibia that will match its record of uniting people as has the ruling party.
Swapo brought independence, peace, unity and freedom of association that brought about the formation of new political parties, he said.
Geingob was speaking at a Swapo Party rally here on Friday when the party launched its election campaign for the Eenhana Town Council seat that was left vacant by the resignation of Max Shinohamba.
Shinohamba was also a member of the National Council. The former premier called on Namibians to refrain from tribalism.
Taking a swipe at the media, he accused some media institutions of not reporting objectively. The Swapo Government believed in freedom of speech, he said, reminding the audience that freedom of the press is for journalists to report objectively but not to play as agents for the opposition.
Geingob also accused some journalists of looking down on Swapo supporters when they report about their meetings. “When you see crowds like this, you will report that there were fewer people than the opposition, which is not true.”
He pointed out that since independence, there was no single journalist who has been arrested and he called on journalists to be more precise in their reporting.
Geingob urged Eenhana residents not to make a mistake of nominating some one from a political party other than Swapo.
The party deputy president told the attendants that Swapo Party brought a lot of progress to the town.
Before independence, there was no tarred road connecting Eenhana to other towns or electricity, but to date residents have these benefits of development that was brought by the Swapo Government.
Geingob said Namibia is going through difficulties such as the hardships caused by drought and other problems but it is still able to keep its balance. The country is one of the few in Africa that does not owe the International Monetary Fund or the World Bank, he said.
Geingob said many African countries are struggling with these debts but Namibia does not owe any of these institutions.
The country has hit the one million mark of tourists that come to visit. This is a good sign. But before independence, he said, the country’s gross domestic product was only about two and a half percent, whereas after independence the average is between three and four percent every year.
On education, Geingob accused some people of praising Bantu education over the current Namibian system of education. He said the Swapo Government has brought about access to education better than Bantu education which divided people based on race.
“Today, we have access, equity and quality education and nearly 97 percent of our children are able to go to school. Let us not be misled and believe that Bantu education was good.”
He said the Ministry of Education is doing its best to reform the education system in the country. The challenge of education, according to Geingob, is a world-wide problem not only in Namibia but “even in America after many years of independence, and in their election campaigns, they are still talking about education reform. It takes time to fix education.”
Haufiku Nehemia is the Swapo candidate that will contest the coming election at Eenhana.
Residents of Eenhana town will vote for their town councillor on Friday March 28.
Among those who attended the rally were the Queen of Oukwanyama Martha Nelumbu, Minister of Education Nangolo Mbumba, Minister of Mines and Energy Erkki Nghimtina, Deputy Minister of Safety and Security Gabes Shihepo, Deputy Minister of Youth and Sport Pohamba Shifeta, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Lempy Lukas, the Governor of Oshikoto Penda ya Ndakolo, Ohangwena Governor Usko Nghaamwa and Ongwediva Mayor Erastus Uutoni.