THE NAMIBIAN: Do independent candidates have honourable intentions?
Namibians who believe in democracy should be concerned about the motives of those seeking political power
Swapo vice-president Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah might have a valid point when she says that Namibia’s political landscape has become too crowded.
In a burgeoning Namibian democracy it is encouraging to see an increasing number of independent candidates and associations competing for political office. Surely it is better to have choices?
What the voting masses should be concerned about is whether they are presented with choices by people who hold public office in trust of the voting masses rather than for the self-interested goals that have become the norm in Namibia.
For instance, what happened to a coalition that less than a year ago enthusiastically reduced the governing party’s grip on power from 80% (garnered a mere five years earlier) to below two thirds and saw Swapo’s presidential candidate's support plunge 30% to 56%?
Why does it appear that the momentum to reduce the absolute power of one party has slowed so much that the people who campaigned in 2019 to stop the rot under Swapo are now training their political guns on each other as fierce adversaries? Were they driven by a common mission to fix specific Namibian problems or are their true colours emerging? Was merely occupying political office for personal gain their driving force?
Instead of worrying that there are too many parties and candidates, Namibians who believe in democracy should be concerned about the motives of those seeking political power, be it Swapo or the alternatives. What we have witnessed in Namibia under the monopolistic power of Swapo since independence is that many politicians and aspirants have vied for public office for the security of a job or to wield state power.
New contesters for public office should keep in mind that the masses did not vote for them as beauty contestants on a catwalk. It was their ideas of change to clean up the rot installed by Swapo and the apartheid regimes.
Nandi-Ndaitwah is not honest by claiming there will be instability merely because many people compete for political office. In fact, it is the incumbents who tend to use state machinery to hold onto power. That is what we must be concerned about. /Windhoek, October 30
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