On Swapo's reactive actions

04 December 2019 | Columns

The action taken by Swapo to remove from its parliamentary list members implicated in the Fishrot scandal is a welcome move, though belated.

Although it was a reactive move rooted in pressure from the public, it could be argued that the party is finally discarding the arrogance that had become its blueprint approach to issues.

That arrogance had trickled down to the party's rank and file, and had gotten into the heads of party leaders who did whatever they pleased, because they knew they would be protected as long as their clapping of hands thundered loudly in the ears of those they worship.

It is no wonder that the party and its leaders had known about the Fishrot saga for years, but because those involved are in the right factions, they enjoyed unfettered immunity.

The ACC's Paulus Noa told 'comrades' in a Swapo WhatsApp group recently that he knew about the saga, but did nothing decisive until a series of media reports deprived him of any further excuse not to act.

Any revolutionary party, as Swapo once was, ought to have consistent standards and a set of principles that no member is allowed to trample upon.

Currently Swapo is unpredictable in its application of principles. This is because action is applied differently, depending on who is implicated and how loud enough they shout 'Viva'.

Therefore, while the action to remove Sacky Shanghala and Bernhardt Esau is spot on, there are islands of similar situations that did not attract a similar reaction from the party. One day the party applies the rule of law, the next day it applies the rule of man.

A fortnight ago we questioned why people convicted of crimes as recently as July this year were tasked to be keynote speakers at Swapo campaign rallies. While it is fair to argue that such convicts have paid their dues, it smacks of pure arrogance that they were paraded in people's faces so soon. Swapo is not in short supply of cleaner people, after all.