Keetmanshoop-The Swapo regional coordinator for //Kharas, Matheus Mumbala, says the party is bigger than any individual and it will be business as usual for the ruling party, irrespective of who leaves.
With Swapo member of parliament Bernadus Swartbooi flirting with the idea of forming a new political party, Mumbala is adamant the ruling party in //Kharas Region will continue to operate normally should the former deputy minister of land resign as he has threatened.
Swartbooi during the Landless People’s Movement (LPM) gala dinner held at Keetmanshoop on Saturday warned that he would resign within 30 seconds as a Swapo member if he was recalled from parliament.
Asked what repercussions Swartbooi’s departure might have on the party, especially in //Kharas where he hails from and has a huge following, Mumbala said the party would continue with business as usual – as people do not join parties in groups but as individuals.
“Therefore, in general principle, whoever wants to leave, leaves the party as they found it, you come alone and you leave alone,” he said.
Mumbala further questioned Swartbooi’s intentions, saying he does not understand why he has to wait to be recalled for him to resign, instead of doing it voluntarily if he is not happy with the party.
“Why do you want to be recalled? You joined freely but when you want to leave you want to blame someone else, why wait to recalled? And who told him that he will be recalled?” Mumbala asked.
The Swapo regional head further questioned why Swartbooi, who has been a loyal member of the party for years, is now suddenly blaming Swapo for allegedly failing in its efforts at land redistribution, saying no one should point a finger at anyone, as it has been a collective journey.
“Why is he saying Swapo, who is Swapo? Why is he not saying we, he included – Swapo is all of us, and we did not fail,” Mumbala added.
Moreover, Mumbala said Swartbooi’s tribalism tag does not make sense. “Go to Oshakati, and ask yourself if there is a Swartbooi or a Thomas that is given even a local authority council position, we are one of a few regions that have voted people, who are not originally from here, into positions of authority,” Swartbooi had said in his speech at the LPM dinner.
But in response Mumbala said Namibia is an independent country and people can live where they want and are free to participate in any political activities wherever they live, and no one will be refused a position if they are capable, adding that colour is not a requirement for any position.
“I want proof that someone was refused a leadership position because he or she is from a certain group, whether you are black, yellow or red, you are free to participate in any elections, wherever you live,” he said.
Mumbala cautioned leaders not to have destructive tendencies of regionalism and tribalism, saying unity amongst all Namibians is core.
In a related development the Namibian Sun has quoted Swapo secretary general Nangolo Mbumba as saying Swapo “will deal” with Swartbooi over the controversial remarks he made over the weekend in accusing Swapo of oppressing minorities.