Wednesday 14 April 2021
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Analysts dig in on Swartbooi saga

Analysts have weighed in on what is now known as “the Swartbooi saga”, subsequently expressing mixed reactions over the manner in which the issue was dealt with.

Political analyst, Dr.Andrew Niikondo, gauged his views on how President Hage Geingob dealt with the saga, saying “the president acted in good faith and could not have handled the matter any other way.”

“I don’t think there is anything wrong with the way the matter was handled, he (Geingob) called the aggrieved person (Swartbooi) in and discussed why he was supposed to apologise which in line with the labour Act,” said Niikondo during an interview yesterday.

Furthermore, when asked if the decision to fire Swatbooi from his position as Deputy Minister would have any impact on the outcome of next year’s Swapo Elective Congress, Niikondo said the impact, if any, would be minimal.

“There will always be individuals that will not like the way the President acted, but I believe that he acted in good faith and in the best interest of the state and the party,” added Niikondo.

Niikondo did not delve much on the issue of how the resettlement programme is implemented, saying only there is a land conference on the cards that should provide answers for the current predicament Namibians are faced with when it comes to land.

In addition, on whether Swapo should keep Swartbooi in Parliament or recall him, Niikondo stressed that the former minister should be kept in Parliament.

“Recalling him is impossible because these are two different things; to be an MP you are voted whereas to be a minister, you are appointed,” concluded Niikondo.

Seemingly disagreeing with Niikondo, another analyst Fanuel Kaapama believes that all parties involved could have handled the issue better as there were “prior” developments which lead to the fallout.

According to Kaapama, reports suggest that fallout between the two top officials in the land ministry has been long overdue.
“I would not point a finger entirely to the President, but all three parties involved should have handled the issue better,” said Kaapama.

On whether Swarbooi’s resignation would have an impact on the outcome of Swapo’s elective congress in 2017, Kaapama said it was too early to speculate. He further added that, the recent resignation or dismissal was not the first of its kind.
“In the past, Ben Ulenga resigned and it gave birth to COD; when the late Hidipo (Hamutenya) was expelled he went on to start RDP so only time will tell,” added Kaapama.

Kaapama further added that there were no permanent friend or enemies in politics and only the future can determine the impact of Swartbooi’s dismissal-cum-resignation.

Finally, on land reform Kaapama expressed disappointment on how it is being by Government because “land is at the centre of economic and political stability of the country.”

“I’m baffled by the way the land issue is being treated, there was an investment conference, a poverty eradication conference but the land conference was shelved and we were told that there is no money in the country,” lamented Kaapama.

Kaapama further added that, the current land reform has failed to meet certain targets and another land conference should be prioritized.

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