'Swapo introspection a joke'

Commentators have called on the ruling party to set up a commission of inquiry to deal with rumours that it benefitted from the Fishrot bribery scandal.

27 July 2020 | Politics



Former prime minister Nahas Angula has described the ruling party's post-mortem gathering on last year's general election over the weekend as a farce, because President Hage Geingob was surrounded by “yes-men and yes-women”, while dissenting voices were nowhere to be seen.

This view was also shared by political commentators Ndumba Kamwanyah and Henning Melber, who said the party should in fact not “introspect”, but self-investigate and account for its members implicated in the Fishrot saga.

The ruling party held a two-day introspection meeting aimed at identifying and reviewing the principal factors for the outcomes of the 2019 general election in which Swapo party staggered across the finish line.

Geingob's presidential vote plummeted from 87% in 2014 to 56% last year, while the party lost 14 seats and its two-thirds majority in parliament. It was also the first time in a democratic Namibia that Swapo's presidential candidate received less electoral support than the party.


During the opening session of the gathering on Saturday, Geingob said for the party to remain united, cadres must raise their concerns and challenges through party structures.

An opinion piece by Angula, titled 'Swapo won't recognise itself in the mirror', was then read aloud.

According to Geingob, this was done so they may start on a fresh page of engaging each other on party platforms, and not through the media.

Angula, however, dismissed Geingob's remarks as “disingenuous”, saying yesterday the head of state is well aware the media is his only remedy.

“He knows that he mobilised people to vote me out of the structures of the party. He mobilised the uninformed to vote me out. I am just an ordinary member of the party. In which structure should I raise my concern?” Angula asked.

Geingob said the process of introspection should not be seen in a negative light, adding there are many detractors who will claim that the meeting is a sign that Swapo is losing its dominance in the political arena.

Mending fractured relationships

“We are here today to commence the important task of engaging as comrades, brothers and sisters, united in the quest to introspect and engage in honest debate and mend fractured relationships for the benefit of the Swapo Party, the only party we know and the only party we love,” Geingob said.

However, Kamwanyah said calling it an introspection is untruthful when only Team Harambee members were present, while alienated Team Swapo members remain out of the picture.

The two factions contested fiercely in the run-up to the 2017 ruling party congress, and a Team Swapo member, Dr Panduleni Itula, ended up running as an independent candidate against Geingob in last year's State House race, claiming about 30% of the vote.

“In general, you cannot introspect when you start blaming internal forces… when you bring only likeminded people. They should have reached out to Team Swapo and the critics of the party,” Kamwanyah said.

Credibility lost

Melber argued that for Swapo to self-correct, it needs people from outside with credible intentions to serve the country's interest.

“I think the insight that the party has failed is a necessary first step. Everything else would have just been a desperate cover-up, failing to achieve any recovery or regaining the credibility lost. As a sober point of departure, now concrete measures have to follow.

“These could include a thorough cleansing process when it comes to office holders who have a proven track record of unethical behaviour,” he said.

Melber advised that the party could also call an extraordinary congress in which the necessary reform is discussed, and consulting people and seeking their views and proposals.

“Swapo should even consider a strict internal investigation concerning party funding with the involvement of trustworthy, non-partisan external reviewers whose insights and recommendations would add to the credibility of such reform processes.”


Kamwanyah added that the term “introspection” suggests there is no commitment to dealing decisively with those implicated in the Fishrot scandal.

According to him, the party needs to set up a commission of inquiry to deal with the rumours that it has benefitted from corruption.

“Yes, it is good to reflect. The problem the party is facing is that it has become corrupt and they must address that, and only through an investigation to punish those who have benefitted,” he said.

[email protected]

Similar News


Veterans want to be appointed to boards

18 hours ago | Politics

TUYEIMO HAIDULAEMBANDU The president of the Namibia National Liberation Veterans Association (NNLVA), Ben Shikongo, says members of the organisation want to be appointed to...

Muinjangue faces revolt over pro-abortion motion

4 days ago - 04 March 2021 | Politics

JEMIMA BEUKES WINDHOEKDeputy health minister Dr Esther Muinjangue is facing a revolt from within...

Muinjangue rapped over knuckles for private office appointments

5 days ago - 03 March 2021 | Politics

MATHIAS HAUFIKU and JEMIMA BEUKES WINDHOEKNational Unity Democratic Organisation (Nudo) president Utjiua Muinjangue’s leadership is being tested after senior party members accused...

Swapo whipped in southern election re-runs

1 week ago - 01 March 2021 | Politics

ELIZABETH JOSEPH AROABSwapo has conceded defeat in elections held in the //Karas and Hardap regions on Friday, and says it will start...

All systems go for three-horse Hardap polls

1 week ago - 26 February 2021 | Politics

OGONE TLHAGEWINDHOEKSwapo, the Landless People’s Movement (LPM) and Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) are all bullish ahead of regional and local authority election reruns slated for...

Govt failed Air Namibia: Kavekotora

1 week ago - 25 February 2021 | Politics

Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP) president Mike Kavekotora says the government must take the blame for the 660 jobs that will be lost when...

AR gears up for its first congress

1 week ago - 25 February 2021 | Politics

OGONE TLHAGEWINDHOEKThe Affirmative Repositioning (AR) movement will hold its first elective congress in August.Party spokesperson Simon Amunime announced the decision, saying the movement was planning...

PDM misses appeal deadline

1 week ago - 25 February 2021 | Politics

JEMIMA BEUKESWINDHOEKThe Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) has sought condonation from the Supreme Court after it missed its deadline to appeal against a High Court order...

APP, ECN to meet in court next month

1 week ago - 25 February 2021 | Politics

KENYA KAMBOWERUNDUThe All People’s Party (APP) and the Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) are set to meet in the Electoral Court on 19 March over...

Swapo's aborted political babies

1 week ago - 24 February 2021 | Politics

MATHIAS HAUFIKUWINDHOEKThe old adage “babies grow so fast” has a literal meaning within the corridors of power in the Swapo Party, with some of the...

Latest News

RCC employees sent home until...

18 hours ago | Business

Over 60 employees of the Roads Contractor Company (RCC) were on Thursday sent home after being denied access to their rented offices, which are owned...

Gondwana and Hollard head back...

18 hours ago | Justice

ELLANIE SMITWINDHOEKGondwana Collection Namibia and Hollard Insurance Namibia will face each other again in court on 31 March after Gondwana last week brought an urgent...

'Premature' to discuss fracking

18 hours ago | Environment

ELLANIE SMITWINDHOEKEnvironment minister Pohamba Shifeta says it is “premature and confusing” at this stage to discuss the risks of fracking in the Kavango regions, when...

Veterans want to be appointed...

18 hours ago | Politics

TUYEIMO HAIDULAEMBANDU The president of the Namibia National Liberation Veterans Association (NNLVA), Ben Shikongo, says members of the organisation want to be appointed to...

Women in commercial banking leadership

18 hours ago | Business

STAFF REPORTERThe Namibian Financial Sector Charter, introduced by the Ministry of Finance in November 2008, constitutes a framework and establishes the principles upon which empowerment...

Kenya to reject budget if...

18 hours ago | Economics

OMAR MOHAMMEDA Kenyan parliamentary committee said that it will reject the government's 2021/22 budget plan if the deficit goal is set at more than the...

Fishing rights announcement soon

18 hours ago | Fishing

OGONE TLHAGEWINDHOEKFisheries minister Albert Kawana is expected to announce who his ministry has chosen for new fishing rights at the end of this month.This brings...

Women still live in fear

18 hours ago | Opinion

Namibians can be proud of the progressive legal frameworks that are in place to protect women from violence and discrimination.Legally, women are ensured of the...

Zimbabwe's manufacturing bullish on better...

18 hours ago | Economics

Zimbabwean manufacturers expect to ramp up production to 61% of capacity this year, the highest level in a decade, on expected stability in the foreign...

Load More