The opening of Cabinet as well as Parliament presented the President with an opportunity to pronounce himself on what he expects for the year ahead.
When the president speaks, he is communicating his own power. And yet, whatever he says is also a site of struggle, because power is not uncontested here. His meanings must be produced, yes, sustained, yes — but also, they must be challenged.
It is confusing to see a President fighting for power which he already has. And instead of fighting poverty as promised, he is fighting characters only known to him. The full force of the state is being used by the president from the embarrassment of “so-called plots” against him which only he is aware of. It is a clampdown on dissent essentially whereby he goes on attack mode even during official gatherings.
Geingob is clearly fighting an insidious battle within his party and he is not sure who he can trust.
It was clear when he addressed members of his Cabinet this week that Geingob has a score to settle somewhere-and only he knows where or with whom.
He said: “When we declared all-out war on corruption, I was warned that many corrupt people will react by attacking me through the press. Well, recently we have read and witnessed the manifestation of that warning. It is a sign that the fight is working, so let us continue.”
It seems the President has his sights on certain individuals whose identities he is obviously keeping under wraps.
He also said: “Over the years, we have continued to improve our delivery of public goods and services that our people rightfully expect. Let us continue to forge a path that others will follow by rededicating ourselves in 2017, on delivering in each and every sphere that encompasses our duties.”
The delivery of public goods cannot be spoken about independent from the procurement system because that it is part of the reason why the country’s finances are in shambles.
Our procurement system has always favoured the bidders and not the State, so much that even those who were tasked to act on behalf of the State have been acting against it.
So it really came as a surprise that the President opted not to say anything on the public procurement system which has cost this country billions over the years.
There were expectations particularly around the much-awaited Central Procurement Board.
When people are sitting in government, there are issues that will arise because of how they govern. People will have different opinions, these opinions must be considered and the best ones should be churned out to build the nation.
The President must rise above petty politics and fight poverty, after all, even people who fought together in the trenches become enemies and we see nothing different in his case.
This week, Swapo politician Clinton Swartbooi made scathing remarks about lands minister Utoni Nujoma in the National Assembly. Swartbooi made it clear that he thinks Nujoma is an idiot, and although he withdrew his remark he said he will stand by it.
This shows a government on its knees and more so a party struggling to contain its members.
Many in the ruling party agree with Swartbooi and other land activists on the land topic, but it is the way in which he approached it that many are against.
His supporters however argue that a radical approach is needed to shake Government into action because for too long the landless have been waiting for land which was clearly not forthcoming.
The manner in which Swapo has dealt with land related matters has exposed its weakness to think straight when confronted by challenges.
Everyone is talking differently despite claiming to have the same goal.
It is quite clear that, unless the party acts on the current happenings in the party, the party will go limping into the Congress.
Whatever your views are on the birth of the Affirmative Repositioning and the Landless People’s Movement, what remains abundantly clear is that Swapo does not know how to address land matters.
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