President Hage Geingob is scheduled to deliver the Swapo Party ideology paper today in which he will outline modalities on how the ruling party can remain relevant amidst a fast-changing world, and how the party’s politburo can be linked to Cabinet for the conversion of Swapo policies into government policies.
Geingob will also touch on how Swapo can survive the current continental trends and forces that increasingly threaten the ideologies of former liberation movements and their transformation to political parties.
Geingob yesterday gave a preview of the paper he is set to present when he officiated at the opening of the second National Swapo Policy Conference, underway in the capital.
The four-day event is an exercise for serious introspection by the party, to review how well its resolutions from the last congress were implemented and to find ways of closing gaps, loopholes and fault lines.
This will set the tone for next year’s elective congress where Swapo members will compete for positions as high as the party presidency, vice-presidency and secretary general and deputy secretary general positions.
“In a sense, this is the most important topic for me… Swapo is unique in the fact it still connects with the hearts and souls of the Namibian people,” Geingob said.
According to him, this is supported by the fact that while other political parties were losing elections, Swapo was still able to garner over 80 percent of the votes in the national elections.
“However, Swapo should not be complacent. We should never lose touch with the grass roots. In my view, the success factor is that Swapo leadership goes back to the people.”
He continued: “We are a party by the people, for the people. This was evident during the town hall meetings, and I would like to see that our cadres engage in regular town hall meetings. This should become one of Swapo’s key modi operandi.”
Hinting further on the content of the paper, Geingob stressed that the document raises pertinent issues that, if pursued, should entrench the ideology and keep the party relevant.
“The ideology of the party should also be seen in an international context, especially within the progressives’ movement.”
It is his opinion that progressive movements around the world are struggling, but there are some places where they are more successful.
“These are mainly in the Nordic countries, where a lot of emphasis is put on social protection, housing, education and health.”
Regarding infrastructure, the paper captures the development thereof but also touches on energy provision and water security.
“Here my key contribution would be to look at financing models of such infrastructure development.”
The paper will strongly call for public-private partnerships in ensuring energy and water security, he hinted.
“However, given the sensitivity of water, as water is life, this is a policy matter that must be carefully debated, and is an issue that should be promoted under the caveat that private investment in water should not come at the expense of the most vulnerable members of our society.”
On implementation, Geingob highlighted that he is aware that there has been no action on some of the resolutions taken at the party’s last conference.
“I would like us to see this within the context of developing a synergy between the politburo and Cabinet.”
“It is the duty of Cabinet to domesticate the Swapo Party manifesto. Therefore, Cabinet might not have seen it fit to implement some of the resolutions taken last time around but we are open to discuss those issues.”