I am delighted to be here today, to launch the SWAPO Party’s national election campaign for the 6th Regional Council and Local Authority Elections.
Following the Presidential and National Assembly Elections of 2019, during which the SWAPO Party was returned as the Ruling Party and myself as Head of State, I said to Namibians, “I have heard you”.
In my New Years’ Message to the nation I emphasized the same message by saying, “As Government, we have listened to the cries and calls of the sovereigns. We have heard you. You pointed out areas of improvement to us. On unemployment, we heard you. On the economic situation, we heard you. On the lack of decent shelter, we heard you. On the Namibia Students Financial Assistance Fund (NSFAF), where scores of students are left in dire straits due to poor implementation and execution of duties, we heard you. In the fishing sector, where fishermen lost their jobs as a consequence of mismanagement, we have heard you.”
I made it clear during the final Cabinet Meeting of 2019 that we can no longer conduct business as usual. The size of Cabinet shall be reduced and an attempt at 50/50 representation shall be made. Persistent lack of implementation of Government policies and programs cannot continue any longer.” I also reiterated the intensification of the fight against poverty and specifically the fight against corruption and Gender based Violence. We have already taken concrete actions to deal with the issues I raised as deserving urgent attention. In this context, at the level of the first tier of Government in our three-tier system, we have cut down on the size of the Executive and also cancelled the purchase of new vehicles for political office bearers. Significant savings were consequently ploughed back in the critical sectors of water supply, housing and sanitation.
I was the first to admit that our results during the elections were not up to the high standards we have set for ourselves. In that vein, we decided to self-introspect, to determine the reasons for the reduced votes during the 2019 Presidential and Parliamentary Elections. Thus, in July 2020, we held the historic “first” post- mortem discussions regarding our performance. From the candid discussions, we concluded among others that we have fallen short in some instances on service delivery in the areas of housing, sanitation, education, health and other issues in cities, towns and villages. Some of our councilors have not been able to deliver on the bread and butter issues at the Regional Council and Local Authority levels. This led to the reduced votes during the 2020 Presidential and National Assembly Elections.
Following the conclusion of the introspection, we put in place corrective measures to enable Party cadres to deliver basic services to our people. At the Party level, we realised that some of the Comrades we have entrusted with the Regional Councils and Local Authorities did not possess the needed skills and qualifications to deliver on the bread and butter issues in communities.
Therefore, during the recent internal Party elections, we ensured that young and qualified Party cadres, from both genders, were elected to contest in the November elections. A process of renewal has taken place and we trust that they will do justice to the mandate of service delivery without any excuses.
In this regard, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Secretary General, Regional Coordinators, and other Party functionaries for their excellent work during this process. I also thank outgoing councilors for the work they have carried out over the past five years. To those of you who did not make it, it is not the end of the world. Comrades, we must bear in mind that the SWAPO Party and Government policies and programs are always in the best interests of all Namibians.
The SWAPO Party Machine, which we are starting to ignite today, is a powerful and resilient machine, baptized in the extreme heat of the crucibles of the heroic Struggle for Namibia’s independence. For 60 years, SWAPO has served the people of Namibia well, by delivering on the mandate of independence, development, unity, peace and stability. For 60 years, SWAPO has carried the torch of unity, liberty and justice, in the interest of all Namibians. As we enter this campaign, no one can say that we have not changed the face of our cities, towns and villages. The Namibia of today is markedly different from the one we inherited at independence. Windhoek is not the same city we found at independence. Katutura did not have tarred roads, it did not have lights and many services were not available to the majority black population. It is therefore disingenuous, if not sinful to say that nothing has been done.
Today, as we commence the campaign of the SWAPO Party for the 6th Regional Council and Local Authority Elections, we start firing, our tried and tested SWAPO Machine on all cylinders. The SWAPO Party wings, rank and file members, supporters, and sympathisers are all united with the objective of winning the elections resoundingly, and to deliver prosperity to all Namibians. Comrades, I charge you, to leave no stone unturned to campaign for victory 24/7, from house to house, church to church, village to village, and town to town. I also ask all SWAPO Party members, supporters, and sympathizers to come out in full force, in all the 14 regions and Local Authorities, to the polls on November 25, to vote for the SWAPO Party Candidates.
Together, let us march forward, united in purpose, resolute in our commitment and steadfast in our SWAPO Party ideology.
With these words, I officially launch the Campaign of the SWAPO Party for the 2020 Regional Council and Local Authority Elections.
Long Live the SWAPO Party! SWAPO United! SWAPO Victorious! Now Hard Work!