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EDITORIAL: The absurd politics of revenge

Swapo has been warned, including by its former secretary-general Pendukeni Iivula-Ithana, against the politics of revenge – which has become the hallmark of its post-congress business in recent years.

If revenge, retribution and punishment of intra-party rivals held little consequences for Swapo in the past, the same cannot be said now. Not after the fallouts of 2017 that clearly had a bearing on national electoral outcomes of 2019 and 2020.

The naivety that Swapo’s recent downward spiral was exclusively a result of the Fishrot stench could cost the party, which already holds onto its marginal majority by its fingernails, more votes in 2024.

True, intra-party unity will not be the panacea to fixing the freefall, but it represents an important building block towards revival and resurrection of the wounded former liberation movement.

That’s why this congress cannot, even in the slightest terms, mirror its 2017 precursor because, as analysts warned, things could get very nasty in 2024 for the party.

In the next election, the increasingly young electorate of our country will grow selectively deaf if a single mention is made of history and liberation heroics. If parties only articulate policies in passing while prioritising sloganeering and chest-thumping about supposed washed-out historical tales, defeat can no longer be ruled out.

After all, Namibia needs an outright winner in the next election after the disastrous comedy of coalition politics.

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Namibian Sun 2022-12-04

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