Windhoek-Secretary of the Swapo Party Elders’ Council (SPEC) Mukwaita Shanyengana has exhorted the Namibian youth to emulate the steely discipline of the generation of Swapo founders in the mould of late Andimba Toivo ya Toivo, whose principles placed the freedom of their people first.
Shanyengana expressed concern that current generations debased the founding principles of the ruling party of serving the people and the party, as they were driven more by wealth accumulation, greed, nepotism, tribalism and regionalism, in contrast to Swapo’s founding principles.
Paying tribute to the fallen struggle icon, whom he referred to as “Tatekulu Toivo ya Toivo”, the SPEC secretary said Swapo lost a visionary, disciplined, selfless, straight-forward leader who shunned tribalism and was a nationalist of high standing.
He said ya Toivo was “one of the foundations of the Swapo party. He was an honest and kind person who never compromised his principles” and that he liked people and was equally liked by all.
Shanyengana, who initially met the late ya Toivo in 1959 when political activism was gathering momentum, entreated the youth to emulate the example of Toivo ya Toivo, Sam Nujoma, Hifikepunye Pohamba, Hage Geingob and Ben Amathila and to keep their legacy alive.
He recalled the role played by the longest serving Namibian political prisoner in the celebrated skirmish of 1966 at Omugulugwombashe that was catalytic for the armed liberation struggle.
The former exile also deplored the behaviour of what he said were “egoistic members” using Swapo for self-enrichment and who have side-tracked the party’s founding principles, as they seem to have embraced corruption, tribalism, regionalism. “There is a habit among some of our people using the names of our leaders to enrich themselves, which is not good and they tarnish the names of our leaders, who were not tribalist, corrupt or materialistic, but had fought for the benefit of all our people.”
Responding to a question on differences between the old and new generation of Swapo members he said: “There is a big difference between the generation of Toivo ya Toivo, Sam Nujoma, Hifikepunye Pohamba and the current generation, in that they were not tribalists and that is why they succeeded to unite all Namibians to fight for the liberation of all Namibian people.”
On the current generations’ greed and avarice, Shanyengana gave an analogy of “a child that only knows how to eat”, throwing all caution to the wind without thinking about tomorrow and said for some cadre personal wealth-accumulation and materialism have become a central preoccupation.