New political formations, how ideological are they?

Kae Matundu-Tjiparuro

In the last edition, Yours Truly Ideologically compared the ideological position of the various political formations, during the First Phase of the Namibian Revolution.

That is from the war of resistance against colonial penetration to the liberation war against colonial occupation, and even during the country’s first ever democratic elections, the 1989 UN-supervised elections. Despite some of the political parties initially gimmicking and posturing socialist positions, it transpired that in their manifestos for the 1989 elections, there was little difference in their economic policies, or their economic blue prints for the radical transformation of the country’s economy. Thirty years down the line, there has even been little shift in the policies of most of these political formations, especially towards a radical socio-economic transformation, or towards socialism if you wish.

But lately Namibia has seen the mushrooming of political formations, be they political parties or associations, and even independent candidates.

To break the near monopoly of political ideas that has been prevalent in Namibia, plus of course break the old African tradition of a one party state, or challenge the decadent one-dominant party phenomenon, one cannot but appreciate the new political formations and associations. But from an ideological conviction perspective, most if not all of the new political formations have as yet to convince one that they are worth any ideological conviction. In fact for most these political formations, are mere outgrowths, some malignant outgrowths for that matter, of existing political parties rather than outflows of ideological reawakening, realisation and maturity.

Few may really deserve the benefit of the doubt in terms of their ideological disposition, especially in their conviction towards socialism in the least. Ideologically speaking, it does not matter if your conviction is genuinely for the betterment of the people under the current capitalist socio-economic conditions, which inherently have never been designed, let alone intended, for the welfare of the masses other than the greed and avarice of a selected few.

Ideologically speaking, social grants and benefits as may exist in many capitalist societies, are not the hallmark of a truly egalitarian society. On the contrary, they are mere appeasements. Yours Truly Ideologically has been especially intrigued by the concept of independent candidates. A concept which many political analysts seem to have gracefully embraced without question. Independent from what? Ideologically? In fact one has as yet to see any marked difference ideologically between the independent candidates and their mother political formations. So what is this independence that many seem to be falling over one another? Independent to continue mooting for, and looting the country’s natural resources for the benefit of a selected few, including big international corporations as has been the case.

There’s no denial that there are sons and daughters of the Namibian soil who have been driven by the passion to see real and meaningful radical socio-economic transformation that would eventually herald egalitarianism in Namibia. But they are few and far in between. Most are attracted to politics by personal and parochial aspirations as abrogated to self by the current Namibian political elite. Thus in essence this concept of independent candidacy is nothing but a politico- ideological farce. An imagined easy and opportune route to a political Seventh Haven, and eventually an economic one.

All these years, 30 plus, of the country’s independence, political parties and social formations seem to be taking the benign Namibian electorate, especially the working class, for a ride. In fact it has seem all these years as if the workers do not have a voice while there are a plethora of unions united in the Namibian National Workers Union (NUNW) and the Trade Union Congress of Namibia, and lately the Namibia National Labour Organisation (NANLO). Incidentally founder of NANLO, veteran trade unionist, Evalistus Kaaronda went on last year to announce a new political formation, People Organised Working for Economic Reality (Power).

It is anyone’s guess what happened to Power now that the 2019 Presidential and National Assembly elections are history. But it is instructive to note the name of his political formation. The essence thereof, which is organising people to work on a new economic reality. This underlines the need for a radical socio-economic transformation, driven by the working people of Namibia.

As they say, the proof of the pudding is in the eating. As such for most of the new political formations, the pudding has as yet to be proven, so much so ideologically. Because among some of these formations there are leading, if not would-be leading ideologues Namibia could dream of.

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