Opposition change of guard long overdue
Despotic French monarch Louis XIV, once famously declared: “L’Etat, c’est moi”. In English, this means “I am the State”.
Namibia’s leading opposition parties seem to be run by the Louis XIV motto where leaders enjoy lengthy terms with hardly any intra-party challenges to knock them off their perch.
Somehow, leaders of the country’s opposition seem to have this absurd notion that the parties belong to them - only them and their families. They want to rule till cows jump over the moon.
Or why, if we may ask, has Justus Garoeb been president of the United Democratic Front (UDF) since 1989?
Why has Kuaima Riruako been President of the DTA since 1987 and later NUDO up until today?
Katuutire Kaura has been President of the DTA since 1998 and there seems to be no end in sight of his leadership of the former official opposition.
We are not advocating the removal of these leaders. Only their members can decide their fate.
But these are men who have addressed us time and again - begging for our votes and, by virtue of that; we surely qualify to comment on the longevity of their rules.
Of course Swapo has had its first president, Dr Sam Nujoma, for a record 47 years, 30 of which were spent in exile. The ruling party got a stick for that.
The opposition label themselves as ‘ruling parties in-waiting’. They see themselves as alternatives to Swapo.
Their leaders dream of waking up at Laurent Kabila Street - at State House.
But would they let it go once their presidential terms end? This must be difficult for people who are used to ruling and worshiped all the time.
While such opposition leaders are undoubtedly power-hungry and change their minds, we also believe members of the opposition parties are, to a certain extent, to blame.
Insecure opposition leaders surround themselves with loyal supporters, often drawn from their own tribes.
Thus, even when these leaders contemplate stepping down, loyalists and lackeys fiercely resist such plans.
Such loyalists continually praise their leaders to the sky, even when his tail is on fire. Who knows what new opposition leaders can do to change the current state of affairs where all opposition parties are essentially whipping boys of Swapo?
Would the DTA increase its presence in the National Assembly under McHenry Venaani? Can Natjirikasorua Tjirera stop the dwindling support of the CoD?
The answer to both questions should be a bold ‘yes’.