Emulate Nujoma

10 May 2019 | Politics

Swapo Party School national chairperson Charles Mubita has called on those in leadership positions to emulate the qualities of Founding President Dr Sam Nujoma, in order to deliver quality leadership.

Nujoma turns 90 on Sunday.

Mubita said Nujoma's heroic deeds as a leader stem from the liberation struggle and his legacy cannot be overemphasised, and should serve as a baseline for quality leadership.

He said the qualities people should emulate are Nujoma's wisdom, intelligence, humility and selflessness.

Mubita said Nujoma was not educated as many are today, but because he was driven by his passion to see a liberated Namibia, he was able to convince the international community with his qualities.

“Nujoma was a humble servant who proved that wisdom, intelligence and humility is more important than education,” Mubita said.

He said Nujoma views Namibians as one and never showed signs of tribalism or discrimination.

Mubita said this is one of the bases on which Nujoma continues to be regarded as the father of the nation and a unifier.

“Nujoma did not look at Namibians through tribal lenses, but looked at Namibia as a national entity, and all of us were treated the same. He did not care who went to school or wherever; he had to make sure everyone was catered for,” Mubita said.

Narrating how he first met Nujoma back in 1975, when he visited the north-eastern battlefront, Mubita said he will not forget the words of wisdom he got that day.

“My first encounter with him was basically in 1975 after my military training and at the time he came to meet us at the battlefield. He said to us that in the war we are waging, we should be own brothers, our own fathers and own mothers,” Mubita said.

“Nujoma said we needed to treat each other as brothers beyond brothers, and that if we could build a family out there, it will be easy to build a nation back home. He told us to forget about your tribal background, as we are fighting to have a country for all. Those words ring in my mind up until today.”

Mubita pointed out that issues such as infighting amongst political parties, traditional leaders and in local and regional governance, which is currently happening, would not exist if leaders emulate the leadership qualities of Nujoma.

“Right now in an independent Namibia, you see local and regional councils failing to simply unify a single unit of the same tribe. There is so much infighting, and when there is so much infighting, you need to ask if there is any father figure to address this fight,” Mubita said.

He said although Nujoma was at different places most of the time during the liberation struggle, he would address issues in order to maintain order, so that Swapo could remain intact and focus on winning the war.

“Nujoma has always been a father figure; he was able to at least attend to all simmering challenges in the struggle. He did that through humility,” Mubita said.

He also pointed out that Nujoma's journey as a leader was not easy, saying he had the responsibility of carrying the weight of many Namibian lives and setbacks were attributed to him.

He said Nujoma faced power-hungry comrades then who wanted to take over Swapo and destabilise. However, he remained resolute and humble, and eventually overcame those challenges.

“It's not that Nujoma did not have challenges. There were a lot challenges; challenges of people who wanted to obviously take over Swapo, and there were many of them. But he still remained resolute and humble,” Mubita said.

“He was a victim of all the difficulties and setbacks. It was not an easy thing to lead the children of many people; it's not an easy thing. He had to become a father figure for many, because if anything goes wrong, people blame you.”

Mubita also called on current Namibian leaders, especially the elderly, to groom youth based on their qualities and not on tribalism or factionalism.

He encouraged the youth to also engage with elderly leaders in a respectful manner, while having the interest of the Namibian people at heart, and not wanting to be praised by those in power.

KENYA KAMBOWE