Political campaigns have never been confined to any rules, therefore any politician campaigning for any position must be ready to roll in the mud like a pig.
Candidates for the top Swapo positions have been going around at night castigating each other and calling each other all sorts of names but as soon as the sun rises they pretend to be holier than thou.
The allegations of money exchanging hands are a common feature coupled with spying and rumour mongering claims. Those candidates crying foul over these dealings clearly do not have the thick skin required to be a politician because money exchanging hands of cooking lies have been facets of politics since the stone age. They do not call it the dirty game for nothing.
Negative campaigning, the process of deliberately spreading negative information about someone or something to worsen public image of the described, which is of course part of the political game has been confined to the social media space thus far.
But depending on how you view it, deliberate spreading of such information can be motivated either by honest desire of the campaigner to warn others against real dangers or deficiencies of the described, or by the campaigner’s dishonest ideas on methods of winning in political, business or other spheres of competition against an honest rival.
Of course all these fetes are not new to politics, but when it enough enough?
Senior party members have warned that governing party could be weakened if the use of state resources to dislodge political opponents continues in the lead up to the November elective congress.
What we have seen over the past few weeks is an intense fight for the control of Swapo.
The past week has shown us the real stuff: The dirty, intense, relentless and debilitating fight as candidates attempt to convince delegates to vote for them. It is a no-holds-barred assault that is not mere contestation between comrades. This is now beginning to look like a fight to the death.
It seems the candidates stand ready to risk their political lives in a bid to ascend in the party.
Some claim the party neglected its founding ideals while others claim that changing the leadership at this stage poses great danger to the future of the country.
Fair enough to say, but what about the democracy principles one would ask. When you declare a sole candidate, is that not automatically stifling democracy? Someone else would ask as well, are not contradicting the party’s ‘Legacy must Continue’ principle by not allowing the acting president to be affirmed president?
There is so many hidden intricacies in the current race, you have a situation whereby you could have a State President that does not feature anywhere in the party structures.
This poses a danger to the bridge between government and the party, but from a different angle, it gives Swapo a chance to show the nation that the State President of the ruling is sent to execute orders dished out by the party.
The ongoing campaign will test Swapo’s ability to unite candidates after Congress. The slates need to harmonise after congress and work together in unison to help the country march forward. If not, it will be another 2012 soap opera where the party dismally failed to unite the different camps which has to an extent led to some paralysis within the party.
What affects Swapo affects Namibia, hence the widespread media coverage of the upcoming congress. And as we all hold out breathe in anticipation of the congress outcome, it is our collective hope as citizens that the damage caused during the campaign period will not hinder service provision in government.