Expect more promises in 2019 - Kamwanyah

25 January 2019 | Local News

With Namibia set to hold general elections this year, some local political analysts have aired their views on the year ahead, saying they again expect politicians to make promises to buy the electorate's votes.

Among other things, the experts unpacked how political parties delivered in juxtaposition to the promises they made during their election manifestos four years ago.

In an interview, political commentator Ndumba Kamwanyah said President Hage Geingob had already set the tone when he branded 2019 'The Year of Accountability'.

It is therefore a year in which the government, Geingob and other political formations should go back to the electorate with tangible results of their work done over the last four years and why they should be entrusted with the nation's votes, he said. In his eyes, 2019 will be an interesting year, particularly for the ruling Swapo Party.

“For the first time in the party's history, Swapo goes divided into an election year. When RDP and CoD defected from Swapo, it remained united, but now Team Swapo and Team Harambee are very much alive within the party. It will be very interesting how the president can deal with this,” Kamwanyah stated briefly. As for the opposition, Kamwanyah said the party to look out for that could make a dent in the might of Swapo is the Popular Democratic Movement (PDM).

“We have to watch out for PDM. With the rebranding, they have detached themselves for their colonial past. Venaani has also done well. He has been on the ground. I am not saying they are going to win,” he said. The Landless People's Movement (LPM) is another surprise package, he said. Nampa also spoke to political scholar Uazuva Kaumbi, who had similar sentiments to Kamwanyah's. Kaumbi expects more promises from politicians, followed by little or no results.

He said the government, under Geingob's watch, had little to show for the work done in the last four years, as evidenced by the struggling economy.

However, he maintained that there would not be any major surprises at the polls.

Kaumbi does not believe that the purported division within Swapo will play a huge role in how Namibians will vote in November, considering the party's history.

“Those divisions have always been there.

The biggest one that we thought would rip Swapo apart was just before the formation of the RDP, with someone like Hidipo Hamutenya leaving the party…it all came and went and did very little damage to Swapo,” Kaumbi opined. Going into an election year, Kaumbi is of the view that opposition parties “look very disorganised”.

Namibia is set to hold presidential and National Assembly Elections in November this year.