Foreign Policy Blogs

Facebook Reactions Part 2

Earlier, I posted some comments and reactions that I received on my facebook wall regrading the Mugabe article.  Here are more comments regarding other articles as well.  And, oh…I am also on twitter.

1. Democracy without Independent Voters Article:
• You are doing a good job with these analysis, we are getting educated from your excellent research. Keep it up!

• bravo!sme voice’s nt heard in the parliament cn be heard on our lovely platform and others cn take it frm there!

• whats ur take on dat independent electorate;are we educated or indoctrinated?

• I surely will be reading the article within the coming three hours; I have to walk the kids to the park.

• well spotted! Civic education could help, because it teaches us our roles as citizen.

• After reading the case of Rwanda and the whole question of an independent electoral commission, I was wondering how different is Namibia from such countries?

Equally, one cannot help but point out the level of political intimidation that man…ifested itself in Namibia, could that have helped swing votes to the ruling party?

For example, physical and psychological intimidation was evident in the Northern parts of the coutry, so was the political purge within the ruling party that led to some unfortunate people losing their jobs.

Would one sacrifice a bread and butter issue for his/her family to vote wisely? I doubt, let alone go and vote!

Still in Namibia, the long over-waited judiciary ruling is casting doubt on the independence of the judiciary, which is a necessity in any democratic state. In the absence of an indpendent judiciary how would election disputes be resoved?

Given such weak links, it shouldn’t be surprising to see landslide election results by old liberation movements in Africa that doubles as the ruling party.

• I tend agree with you that the totalitarian victory of Paul Kagame does not augur well for African democracy, but differ with you that such landslide victories immediately and indubitably point the towards “election rigging”. In many… cases it is the explicit will of the electorate, however unsophisticated c it may seem.

Your reference to the delay in justice as far as the verdict of the Namibian courts on the election challenge by the so-called opposition parties is concerned, sounds to me more like preparation of the people sympathetic to you for the eventual verdict going against you.

It has been a popular game by the political opposition to shout “rigging”, “ intimidation”, non-transparency”, etc., as soon as issue don’t seem to be going their way – a most effective for some) but morally reprehensible way of doing business. It quickly and artfully detracts from the ineffectiveness of the opposition

When the verdict comes – an I really do not know what the judiciary will decide – do me a favour and read it carefully before prematurely and impulsively reacting – we need a considered opinion not knee-jerk repartees.

• I tend to agree with you Peter. People need to learn to accept defeats in good faith. We can’t always equate the election victories of ruling parties to vote rigging. It is counter-productive and shortsighted.

• I believe the point is simply saying that given the weak links in so-called democratic states where intimidation, un-independent judiciary and un-independent electoral body leads to the questioning of the credibility of any election – of wh…ich landslide victories shouldn’t surprise anyone. Certainly, if the electoral system is weak, how sure can anyone say – all is well and good?

• I wanted to comment on this topic but feel that my elder Peter has said it all.
I think generally it is advisable that those who support or are sympathetic to opposition parties should do so in the open. And if it is SWAPO you hate… or its leaders also just say so without fear, but it will be wrong to patronise us with non-issues. If you take ECN in our case, it was and possibly is opposition friendly. Some employees of ECN are now leaders of RDP: are we to believe that such employees have no friends still in the ECN?

And for that matter ECN continues to operate independently from Government so to speak. Moreover, those in the employ of ECN were not asked what their political membership were prior to being employed. Yet the same opposition and its sympathisers accuse SWAPO of rigging elections. I agree too with Peter and Di Matteo that people should learn to accept defeat IN GOOD FAITH!

• @Mwatile: Civic Education ….. The Hanns Seidel Foundation has held Civic Education seminars/course on various aspects since 2001/2002.
These seminars are offered FREE OF CHARGE to groups of citizens, civic organisations, political parties…, etc., etc. on written request. An e-mail to [email protected] could be the first step towards achieving your aims ……..

• I guess it will be well and good for the political parties in Namibia to start working in advancing Namibian interest.

As I wrote in The Namibian some time back, it is my wish that our parliament should have its full house.

I know Swapo and h…ave great respect for all those that had fostered the liberation struggle to where it has reached us today, but the disturbing factor is the “un-knowns” that have high-jacked the agenda – and feast in seeing brothers that had served Namibia in the darkest hour fight each other.

Such divisive elements will one day have their day as the now Namibian High Commissioner in Botswana, Hishongwa had once said, “tables do turn.”

Or when he did ask of recent that “where were their fathers when their likes were fighting for the liberation struggle of Namibia?”

As they say, “you can fool some people some time but not all the time.”

I believe the day will come when real comrades will bury their past and work towards the Namibian dream.

I remember Abraham Ndumbu, the former SPYL; I remember Iganatius Shiwameni; I remember George Mayumbelo; I remember Paul kalenga – and can see the likes of Jerry Muodinohomba; the likes of George Makuki; the likes of Victor Simasiku; the likes of Shadreck Mwilima; the likes of Phanuel Kaapama, the likes of Pohamba Shifeta and many others of their calibre pushing the Namibian struggle forward.

Indeed, those were courageous chaps that many Namibian youth of that time can easily relate too.

I hope someday, they will come back and re-light the torch as they did during the colonial era.

And as for the old guard, it is only a new broom that will go on insulting their liberation credetials – Nujoma, Pohamba, Hidipo, Geingob, Toivo Ya Toivo – are some of the great Namibians names – people knew by heart.

Lets hope this Namibian heroes, will one day forget about their petty differences – and work together as they did during the liberation struggle.

Surely, that time – it was easy to say “Aluta Continua!”

Thank you.

• It surely will be good if “real comrades will bury their past and work towards their Namibian dream”, but the question lingers as to the composition and definition of real Comrades. How come the same “real comrades” turned on each other by …starting parties to fight and destroy SWAPO and some left SWAPO purely because they hate Dr. Sam Nujoma?

It is also on record that the liberation struggle was also fought by peasants, teachers, students, workers, nurses and clergies who were inside the country. These are, too, real comrades. Real comrades must also not exclude Mr. Muchali Sr, Ndumba J. Kamwanyah, Peter, Mwatile, Di Matteo and others…:-)

2.Africa’s One-Horse Races Article:

• A matter of the “rather the devil you know ..

• But why the mute response from the West in the case of Rwanda but only loud in the case of Zimbabwe?

• There has been quite a bit of analysis in the western media, but the SA papers have not really picked up on it.

• Im with you here cde Ngurare, i was following the report of bbc, cnn, NPR, voice of america and so forth all what they are talking about is how succesfull Rwanda has utilize donor aid and how its able to sustain peace and promoting democraz…y. @ Ndumba I tend to disagree with most of the reports im hearing in the media about Kagame regime…Yes 100% agree that Kagame is a pro business minded political leader but when they talk of peace and democracy in Rwanda i tend to disagree. The regime seems to one of the worst suppressive hidden in the notion of democracy!

• I am not sure why the mute, but one thing is obvious Kagame has been the darling of the West, especially the US. Some NGO’s (local and international) have been vocal, but we haven’t quite seen any analytical scrutiny on the Kagame regime such as in the case of Zimbabwe. Mmm…is it a case of amnesia or just plain double standard?

• True, Paul Kagame is a darling of the West, Rwanda is the only place that they can say that foreign aid is working in Africa, so I think it’s rather unrealistic to expect the west to condemn the brutal parts of Kagame’s regime.

• Who else wi…ll the west point to that Aid is working if they are at odds with Kagame? The media in the West I think have favorable reported on the elections and the killings of journalist and political opponents of Kagame and it’s only the governments that are silent in the West.

• In comparison to Zimbabwe, the people of Zimbabwe led their cry against their situation in Zimbabwe and it was impossible for the West to be numb. Africans and the people on Rwanda have to raise their voices regarding the exercise use of power and intolerance for political descent and the media in Rwanda.

• I think the question should be directed to the media and governments across Africa not the West. The West have their own problems to attend to, particularly the economic melt down that is keeping politicians in the west sleepless at night.

• I think it is a case of both amnesia and double standard on the part of hypocritical regimes in the West led by the United States…lol



Ndumba J. Kamwanyah

Ndumba Jonnah Kamwanyah, a native of Namibia in Southern Africa, is an independent consultant providing trusted advice and capacity building through training, research, and social impact analysis to customers around the world. Mos recently Ndumba returned from a consulting assignment in Liberia in support of the UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL).
In his recent previous life Ndumba taught (as an Adjunct Professor) traditional justice and indigenous African political institutions in sub-Saharan Africa at the Rhode Island College-Anthropology Department.

He is very passionate about democracy development and peace-building, and considers himself as a street researcher interested in the politics of everyday life.
Twitter: NdumbaKamwanyah