Swapo Party secretary general Sophia Shaningwa has issued a stern warning to staff members who disclose the party’s classified information to the public, saying stern action will be taken against those found guilty.
Shaningwa gave the warning in Windhoek when addressing ruling party functionaries at the Swapo headquarters for the first time since she was elected the secretary general.
She said as much as staff must disseminate information to other members there is some information that is confidential and classified, and sensitive, to which access is restricted to particular members.
She said some information is supposed to be handled in secrecy, however, it is disturbing to note some staff members distribute such information to unintended recipients, who according to her, distort such information and use it to advance their own agendas, and to cause damage to the party, its leadership and the government.
“Last year during the campaigns there was this infamous ‘breaking news’ circulating in WhatsApp groups, and on other social media – what I term fake news and distorted information,” she said.
“You just hear ‘sources close to the SG’,” she said, adding that such behaviour is against the principle of the party and shall not be tolerated during her term in
She said discipline and loyalty must be the order of the day. “As much as we do have our democracy, you cannot be an enemy within, hence you cannot be causing embarrassment to your own party which you claim to love,” she said.
Furthermore, Shaningwa called on staff members to serve the party with a sense of pride and patriotism, whereby they have the responsibility to protect the party’s image, and financial and material resources.
“We are all privileged to serve our party in accordance with our skills, knowledge and expertise, to deliver on the responsibility entrusted upon us,” she said.
“We must therefore know our worth and relevance to be here, hence we do not need policemen and [police]women to push us to do our job,” she added.
She further called on staff to be punctual at all times. “We must avoid carrying our duties in silos, hence teamwork, coordination and communication of the party activities from the headquarters up to the regions cannot be overemphasised,” she said.
Shaningwa says division of labour and sharing of responsibilities are very important to any organisation.
“We must respect our leaders and those entrusted to head our departments administratively,” she stressed.