It’s cold out there

14 November 2014

The resignation of the Swapo Party Youth League Spokesperson Job Amupanda and his subsequent suspension by the ruling party comes as no surprise to anyone.

For a long time now, the motor-mouthed socialist appeared to invite the party elders to suspend or even fire him from party activities with his public criticism of the party and its policies.

When the party finally woke up and decided to suspend Job, it seems to have chosen the wrong timing for such a move, and it is safe to say that the party erred in its collective wisdom. 

By moving to suspend Job and his fellow land-grabbing comrades from party activities, the party might have fallen for Job’s tricks.

It seems that this is what the young man wanted, he wanted to create confusion and anarchy in the run up to the National Assembly and Presidential elections, and the party gave him that on a silver platter.

By moving quickly to suspend Job after his Affirmative Repositioning stance, the party leadership made a fatal error, one that they might live to regret.

The supersonic speed, at which the party top brass moved to suspend Job for his transgression, will show Swapo as a party of the elite in the eyes of some.

There is a growing feeling that the Swapo leadership is losing touch with its grassroots base, and one cannot fault the critics who subscribe to this notion as recent events, including Job’s suspension show.

One would have expected the same party to move with the same urgency to suspend Kafula and her gang at the City of Windhoek for their involvement in their questionable and now infamous land dealings, but alas, nothing like that happened, and Job appears to have been the scapegoat or fall guy.

While Job appeared like a thorn in the flesh to the party faithful and a constant irritation for those in the corridors pf power with his public outbursts, it is tempting to believe that no one amongst the party cadres will miss him, but the irony is that the party needed someone like him.

Like what Job said the party should not expect cadres to sing and dance like zombies all the time and not question the status quo especially when what is happening in the party goes against some of the basic tenets or founding principles of the party.

There is no doubt that there is need for reform within the Swapo party, and it cannot be business as usual if the party is to remain relevant and maintain its two-thirds majority in parliament.

What the party needed were comrades like Job to change the party from within. All that was required was for the party elders to listen to his messages and act upon them.

Was Job supposed to have been less radical than he was?.....Yes.  He could have been more diplomatic, but then again he doesn’t subscribe to that ideology.

Both Job and the party will be losers at the end of the day. It remains to see what sort of impact Job will have outside the Swapo party structures, but our guess is he will have none at all.

Again, Swapo has missed an opportunity to show that it is a party that cares about the welfare of the poor masses and not a party that protects the elite.

Will this affect the party’s performance at the upcoming elections, not necessarily, but some things need to change and that’s for sure.


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The Windhoek Observer is an English-language weekly newspaper, published in Namibia by Paragon Investment Holding. It is the country's oldest and largest circulating weekly.

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