There is currently a “lack of trust” among members of Swapo Party, which if not addressed could destabilise the party, the long-serving Swapo member Ben Amathila has warned.
Amathila, who is also a member of Swapo’s politburo and central committee, gave the warning during a public lecture titled ‘Swapo, the Formative Years’, at the party school on Saturday in Windhoek.
Amathila said currently the trust issue among Swapo leaders “is hot” and chances are that if this continues something will go wrong.
“Right now I do not even know who to whisper to, to speak to or even socialise with, as at the end I might be linked to a certain camp, a camp that I might not even be aware of [its existence],” he said to about 100 delegates who gathered to listen to the lecture. The public lecture was attended by among others the former speaker of parliament Theo Ben-Gurirab, former Swapo secretary general Nagirikutuke Tjiriange, Minister of Sport, Youth and National Service, Jerry Ekandjo, and Swapo Party Women’s League (SPWL) secretary Eunice Ipinge.
Also in attendance were foreign diplomats, among them Indian High Commissioner to Namibia Kumar Tuhin. Amathila said that during the liberation struggle Swapo leaders trusted each other, which was vital to the attainment of the country’s independence.
Furthermore, Amathila tasked the Swapo Party School rector Marco Hausiku and his colleagues to keep the party strong and healthy to maintain stability for Namibia’s growth and future development.
“We run to structures of government, leaving the party alone, but in so doing we are weakening our party,” he said.
Amathila noted that at the attainment of Namibia’s independence something happened that they did not correctly plan for or possibly did not foresee: “The cream of all those who have the experience of being abroad and exposed to all other experiences went to state institutions. And we left our party with newcomers who simply did not understand the functions of the party and its future role in guiding government and the country.”
He said Swapo has become the people and the people are Swapo and should the party one day start sneezing, the whole nation will start sneezing as well.
He said it is for that reason that party leaders should maintain the party, keep the party as strong as possible, and keep the party healthy so that it can maintain stability, which is the cornerstone for Namibia’s growth and future development.