Evils, gains and pains of democracy

August 17, 2015, 7:58am

Evils, gains and pains of democracy

Democracy is a form of government in which power ultimately comes from the people who are governed, whether through direct voting or through elected representatives.
Independent Namibia opted for the latter. As such, leaders that have been elected by the people are expected to follow the people’s will. When they serve, they serve the people, they serve the majority. If the leaders, for any reason, divert from the people’s will, then rest assured that the leaders will get resistance from the people they lead.
It’s NORMALLY done through organised structures. Political parties submit to the electorate their aspirations and programs they intend or continue to do for them every fifth year.
So far Namibians have entrusted and renewed Swapo Party’s mandate for a quarter of a century. Political parties in turn holds districts, branch and regional conferences before their congresses to elect leaders to represent them during Parliament and eventually regional and local authority elections.
As we speak now, party members are jogging to represent their political parties in the pending regional and local authority elections. To me these are the most important and crucial elections in the life of an ordinary Namibian.
This is where the bread and butter issues are handled and delivered, yet most political parties underestimate its importance. How do you field a candidate who can not read nor write the official language, English? It’s happening and they are making it into the leadership of towns and regions because of party representation method Namibia has adopted.
If you, the educated armed with your first, second, third and PHD degrees are at the receiving end, its because you FAIL to participate in the basic party structures. No one will allow you to miss a step and ascend to political power simply because of your educational qualifications. However, there are exceptions to the rule. If by any chance you get appointed or assigned to a national position, and you prove to be an asset to the system of governance, the party leadership shall convene and you shall be elevated to the hierarchy of national leadership. Once you are there, you become an equal member of that structure.
In Swapo Party, a president has no direct influence on the election of the regional structure. But being a politician, its just normal for him or her to pull strings here and there in order to have people who can help him or her to lead the party and smoothen his governance.
In any democracy, there is always the minority (those that differ with the majority) and there is always need for tolerance (accepting that people will always have different views on policy matters.
In the ruling party, or any other political party in the Land of the Brave, there are structures and procedures that are followed whenever there are any disagreements within the party. Structures that will give every member an opportunity for redress, opportunity to advance one’s ideas provided that they will be in line with the aspirations of the people for whom all leaders are expected to serve.
These structures are indeed solid, and they indeed shape the body and strength of the political party. The structures give checks and balances to ensure that the political party’s constitution effectively becomes the bible of the party.
In my party, SWAPO Party, this bible should be understood by all members, and this bible is readily available at all party offices across Namibia. Any member is free to get a copy and fully understand this SWAPO Party bible, for it will guide one on how to conduct one’s self whenever they are serving the people on BEHALF of Swapo Party.
Events that have happened both in the ruling and opposition parties in the past few weeks have reminded many of us that as individuals, we should be responsible for our own actions. We should be held accountable to what we do for the people and with the people.
In Swapo Party, one joins as an individual and unfortunately one leaves as an individual. Democratic Turnhale Alliance of Venaani has proven the same when they chucked out one of their key members.
When the party divorces you, you will accept or reject this divorce, again as an individual. This marriage normally doesn’t have any offspring.
The divorcee can not threaten those remaining in the party that he/she will take the children because of maybe their young age. The party has enough mothers to take care of those kids. The party has enough members to fill up any position that has been left vacant by those divorced, and with all due respect to our competent and just courts of laws, if one part doesn’t want to continue with the relationship, the court will only ensure that those separating are doing so in a peaceful manner.
The courts will never, and I mean, NEVER force a broken marriage to continue to exist. The court will never tell one to go back to the same wife or husband who has divorced him or her, therefore raising a question about what the people mean when they say they will take the Party to the courts? Why take political issues to the court of law? Why are you abandoning your own party constitution and codes of conduct? Why are you running away from a constitution that you claim to have followed in latter and spirit? Why are now saying that you don’t have faith in that same constitution that allowed the people to give you that same leadership position? Going to court to attack the same constitution is madness at its best.
Discipline is indeed half the learning. How can naughty children pass with flying colours at school when they are always serving manual punishment for misbehaving every Friday afternoon? Indiscipline will never lead to excellent results. Yes, you can be the darling of your fellows, darling of those who have been supporting you in silence or those who have been responsible for your meals, but rest assured, those will only support you up to a point where their own interests ends.
The SWAPO Party is a loyal and reliable party. Since its formation, it had members that were either suspended or expelled. And because it’s a party that installs discipline in its members, those that left out of excitement have soon been re-admitted back into the party after they realized their mistakes and changed for the better. And those who have not been patient enough have gone ahead to form their own political parties with some still existing today (but majority of them have since died a natural death).
 by Nangombe dha Ndadala