SWAPO Central Committee embraced unity and pragmatism in the end

Niël Terblanché

In an impassioned appeal for solidarity and strategic foresight, SWAPO Party leaders and members have been urged to consolidate their support around presidential candidate, Dr Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah during the elections at the end of November this year.
Namibia’s Founding President and Father of the Nation, Dr Sam Nujoma, expressed this wish during the SWAPO Party’s Central Committee meeting, a crucial event for the party’s introspection and future planning.
Pendukeni Ivula Ithana, the former Secretary General of SWAPO, threw her weight behind the Father of the Namibian Nation when she tabled a similar motion during the Central Committee meeting at the Parliament Buildings in Windhoek.
Dr Nujoma said that at this critical juncture, the late President Hage Geingob’s unchallenged re-election in November 2022, despite the party’s constitutional mandate for competitive leadership contests, emphasizes the unity and pragmatism that has long characterized the SWAPO Party’s approach to governance and internal democracy.
He said the subsequent election of Dr Nandi-Ndaitwah as Vice President, through a decisive victory over Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila and Minister Pohamba Shifeta, not only solidified her as the presidential candidate for the upcoming elections but also affirmed the party’s commitment to a seamless leadership transition, further demonstrated by the swift and peaceful transfer of power at the state level following President Geingob’s demise.
According to the Founding President, these developments are a testament to SWAPO’s resilience and its ability to navigate the complexities of political succession with a focus on national cohesion and stability.
The party’s consideration of an Extra-Ordinary Congress, in light of constitutional and leadership vacuums, highlights the delicate balance between adhering to procedural mandates and ensuring the continuity of visionary leadership, as embodied by Dr Nandi-Ndaitwah.
He said that Dr Nandi-Ndaitwah’s extensive engagement with all regions of Namibia, coupled with her embodiment of the party’s and nation’s aspirations, positions her as the quintessential candidate to lead SWAPO and the country into a future marked by unity, prosperity, and global relevance.
“Unity of purpose and action is paramount, and any potential division, especially in the face of upcoming elections, could be detrimental to the party’s success and, by extension, to Namibia’s progress,” he said.
Dr Nujoma reminded the leadership and members of their collective responsibility to uphold the principles that have sustained the party through decades of struggle and governance.
He said that any potential challenge to Dr Nandi-Ndaitwah’s candidacy is not just a test of individual ambition but a critical reflection of the party’s values and its unwavering commitment to the nation’s well-being.
“In rallying behind Dr Nandi-Ndaitwah, SWAPO not only reaffirms its historical legacy but also embraces a future where unity, pragmatism, and inclusive leadership pave the way for a better Namibia, he said.
The implications of the Central Committee’s decisions, and the conduct of any Extra-Ordinary Congress, will undoubtedly shape the political landscape of Namibia, setting a precedent for democratic resilience, leadership integrity, and the collective pursuit of national advancement.
“In a time of potential divisions and uncertainties, the SWAPO Party’s path forward is unequivocally defined by its commitment to unity, strategic foresight, and the leadership of Dr Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah,” he said.
Dr Nujoma’s call to action is clear: It is only through solidarity and a shared vision for the future that SWAPO and Namibia will navigate the complexities of the present to ensure a prosperous, stable, and united nation.
“A people united, striving to achieve a common good for all members of the society, will always emerge victorious!” he concluded.
At the conclusion of the meeting, the Central Committee did indeed endorse Dr Nandi-Ndaitwah as SWAPO’s sole presidential candidate to stand uncosted in the November elections.
Hofni Ipinge, a member of the SWAPO Politburo stated that members in the end unite behind the candidate.
“SWAPO presented a united front and members were satisfied by the party’s constitution, rules and procedures. We believe in institutions, functions, and processes. The Central Committee has spoken. We had a smooth transition and we are happy,” he said.
The Secretary General of Swapo, Sophia Shaningwa meanwhile confirmed that the Extra Ordinary Congress which was scheduled for May 2024 has been postponed to 19 April 2025.

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