Political opponents are not enemies: Nujoma

21 Aug 2016 18:20pm
WINDHOEK, 21 AUG (NAMPA) – Founding President Sam Nujoma says Namibia’s democracy will only be realised once political opponents vow to coexist and not see others as ‘enemies’.
This, he said, will be a crucial catalyst for the country in its efforts to achieve its desired developmental goals and plans.
Speaking during the launch of the Swapo Party School policy documents here on Saturday, Nujoma said there can be no democracy without peace.
“Multi-party democracy is an important condition for peace and stability and without peace, there can be no development,” he said.
The former president added that political opponents should emulate what is stipulated in the national reconciliation policy which aims to enhance peace.
The country must be governed on the basis of a multi-party democracy as outlined in Article 17 of the Namibian Constitution, which guarantees all citizens the right to participate in peaceful political activities intended to enhance good governance, Nujoma said.
“In this way, our government and our people can focus their energies on fighting poverty and ignorance. It further goes without saying that the role of political parties cannot be over-emphasised,” he added.
Nujoma further stressed that differences of opinion during debates and discussions must also not result in conflict and violence.
“Our people must respect each other’s opinion and engage in healthy debates. That is what democracy is all about. Democracy is the battle of ideas, it is not, and should not be a battle of throwing stones at each other,” he said to vibrant applause from party cadres, Members of Parliament, and members of the public in attendance.
Nujoma is the patron of the Swapo Party School. Former deputy prime minister Marco Hausiku serves as the founding rector of the party school, which opened in May this year.
Its main aim is to provide guidance in political leadership, education on party policies and plans, and to inculcate the values and principles of this mother body into its potential leaders.
Nujoma further reiterated that party schools should vow to promote unity and patriotism on behalf of their parties.
“Through patriotism, our people will be motivated to do their best in developing our country in the interest of all Namibians,” he said.