Many people might think that the 6th Congress of the Swapo Party was only about election and nothing else, although it is true that some delegates were only interested in the election and its outcome.
For an experienced congress delegate like myself I can confirm that the sixth congress of the Swapo Party was more than just election and it is by definition as it should be more about the discussion of our policies and activities, review of our position on the progress chart and more of an inquest to the service delivery to the people as expected.
The run-up to the sixth congress was however the definitive source of confusion to the average voter in Namibia and beyond.
Our party has instruments that are living documents as well as enabling policies. The irony to the average voter is that it causes confusion when the documents are vividly made reference to during the run-up to congresses only. It does turn to make wonder whether these instruments are ignored deliberately or not made use of.
It creates an impression of disunity and chaos and it somewhat spells animosity between comrades. The truth is that contests by nature are competitive and the degree of competitiveness if not defined can be confusing. We are thus duty-bound to declare to the average voter that it is time to clear up the confusion and declare that there is all the love for the mighty Swapo and each other, hence no violence and/or under-the-belt comments towards one another during the run-up to congress and for that we have a lot to be thankful for.
One significant question often posed is whether democracy is well in Swapo.
There was to a certain degree a subjective definition of power, a centre of power and political terminology of power. Successive planning and continuous grooming of young leadership were also some elements that were interrogated especially by yours truly. The biggest question posted was whether any single candidate or acclamation carried any probable value or was it a precedent worth its weight in gold in an organisation founded on the principles of democracy.
The latter was comprehensively answered by the central committee during the run-up to congress – as you all know 11 candidates contested out of a potential 12. This was as a result of the constitutional mandate executed by the Central Committee of Swapo. This is unpresented and we must count our blessings as an organisation and as a country more so the leadership of the party, its entire rank file for upholding the principles of democracy – this was done collectively. We salute you all.
I should say that there is somewhat a sigh of relief from this end because in a mass-based organisation opinions, however well-crafted and substantiated into solid arguments, still run a risk of being populated with an undercurrent of onslaught towards the messenger of an unpopular idea – however accurate, constitutional and sound his idea might be, to an extent I would say thank you to the Swapo Party rank and file – I have been exonerated.
Political commentators suggested that democracy is becoming vulnerable in our Swapo Party – however like many things that need transition, it undergoes a degree of vulnerability before it recovers wholly.
Delegates and observers will testify that in the Swapo Party, contribution to the strengthening of the organic unity of the party and the political consciousness of its rank and file is encouraged and well oiled. The substantive evidence of this was displayed during congress and without a doubt all present will agree that we all have the party interest at heart.
Delegates will testify that in the Swapo Partry congress freedom of expression was highly present, opinions were expressed freely without fear or favour and contributions to discussions and participation of decisions of congress were executed to perfection for the betterment of our party.
The question of pursuit of inner party democracy and succession planning was answered on the morning of 27 November 2017 – the list of the Central Committee of Swapo is testament to this and the subsequent Politburo.
The results of congress were undisputed and the highly credible presiding officer did a great job.
The only question left to ask is who, and what, is Swapo Party?
I know many comrades that will keenly reply to this with many colourful adjectives.
I think that it is undisputed that the 6th congress demonstrated that Swapo Party is still well anchored to continue delivering services to the people. The 6th Congress demonstrated that Swapo rewards and empowers its cadres and it is a leading organisation in southern Africa geared towards the development and empowerment of the younger generation. The mighty Swapo Party has definitely shown that it is well aligned with its mission and it is well on par to continue collaborating with the masses to keep the ideology of the party relevant.