There’s meaning in the clap (on the face of Swapo)

By Victor Angula /

A few days ago a Swapo Party office-bearer received a hot clap from a resident of Mix informal settlement on the outskirts of Windhoek, where the ruling party was holding a campaign rally.

While lots of people saw the clap as it was being delivered (since it was captured on video), and many people expressed their approval for the act (as according to the views shared on social media platforms), here I want to talk about the meaning of the clap.

There is a deep meaning in that clap.

A lot of people, both old and young, know that there are lots of political parties in Namibia and it’s their democratic right to choose and vote for any party other than Swapo in the coming elections.

But for them it’s not as simple as that. They know that Swapo has disappointed them again and again over the past 34 years. But for them the thought of ditching Swapo for any other party is not a comfortable choice.

People still want to vote for Swapo. Swapo is not a party, like any party. To them Swapo is in their DNA. Swapo is attached to them like a umbilical cord spanning decades into colonial history. If the people have any political identity, as citizens of Namibia, it is because of Swapo.

So that simply ditching Swapo, is to be unpatriotic.

Now what do you do, since Swapo has been a disappointment over and over again? The Swapo Party-led government has failed to tackle the crisis of unemployment. Economic inequality and poverty continue to increase. Swapo leaders keep themselves busy making money for themselves, while the people who have voted them into government positions continue to suffer.

Swapo has been abusing the people’s trust, and abusing the resources of the country.

The people are frustrated. But they don’t want to leave Swapo. Leaving Swapo seems so unnatural.

Now what do you do? Like someone who is stuck in an abusive relationship, the ugly head of violence is sure to rise again and again.

The meaning in the clap is that people will not be leaving Swapo in masses any time soon, but things will never be the same again. The hallowed period of Sam Nujoma, Hifikepunye Pohamba, and Hage Geingob has passed. With Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah it will be a different thing. Things will no longer be business as usual in the Swapo house.

Either those elected to government positions make a choice to deliver, or they can expect to be uncomfortable in their comforts of power; at times meeting with occasional violence again and again.

– Victor Angula is the editor of Omutumwa News Online. He can be reached at