Sources within Swapo say senior party leaders have started speculating that the Affirmative Repositioning movement may herald the birth of a new political party that could potentially contest the local authority elections in November this year.
Swapo insiders claimed this week that some leaders in the party fear that the Amupanda’s radical movement might become a political party that could give Swapo a run for its money in the upcoming local authority elections.
Following the mass land application in Windhoek at the end of last year Amupanda warned that if leaders did not resolve the land issue by 31 July 2015, he would tell landless Namibians all over the country to take land and start building their houses.
An Afrobaromter survey in 2013 indicated that although Swapo enjoys the support of the majority of the electorate during presidential and national assembly elections, the party shows some weakness in local authority elections.
“The unfortunate fact is that programmes such as Tipeeg or the Mass Housing project, which were designed to ensure land delivery, have failed and created gaps any opposition can come in and fill,” a Swapo party insider aid.
One party elder said that what made the movement a real potential threat to the ruling party was the level of planning and organisation it had displayed in the execution of its activities.
“You cannot compare this movement to tactics such as NEEF or the so called Ongandjera Party, which clearly lacked substance, proper planning and a long-term vision.
“Affirmative repositioning is and has conducted thorough ground work, and naturally with the assistance of the existing youth league networks they have managed to mobilise a large number of people across the country,” the party elder said.
It is alleged that Swapo leaders fear that by registering people for land applications, the Affirmative Repositioning movement has managed to create a national database that it could use in future to help form regional structures of a political party.
They speculate that the movement used a well-orchestrated social media campaign to reach as many youth as possible and carry its message in the absence of a recognised media partner to propagate its message.
Some have even gone as far as question where the group of young people acquired the funding for their campaign materials, travel and so forth.
“You don’t have to look very far and you find the signs of a political party in the making all over the place. Take the promises Amupanda made to the people about delivery of potable water, energy and sanitation.
“Doesn’t that sound like a mini party manifesto to you?” a source said.
However, in an interview on Wednesday Amupanda refuted the allegations that his movement was a political party in the making and that the land issue was just an opportunistic emotive issue the movement rode on.
Amupanda likened the accusations of him forming a political party to the propaganda that used to circulate about Swapo fighters and Founding President Sam Nujoma during the liberation struggle.
“Apparently Sam Nujoma had a tail and the apartheid forces used to distribute papers stating that Nujoma had a tail and that PLAN combatants could transform themselves into other beings once the enemy comes because they had been cooked in big pots.
“So we compare this Mbumba propaganda to the propaganda of the apartheid leaders,” Amupanda said.
The suspended youth leader further said the best advice he could give to the elders at this point was to engage in dialogue with the youth because they could not wish these issues away.
“I can tell you that if I die tomorrow you will see many more campaigns coming up. This does not end with me; we have created an army of radical, informed and inspired youth who will no longer sit back in silence,” he said.