HIFIKEPUNYE POHAMBA, PRESIDENT OF
THE SWAPO PARTY AND OF THE REPUBLIC
OF NAMIBIA ON THE OCCASION OF THE
CLOSING CEREMONY OF THE 5th CONGRESS
OF THE SWAPO PARTY
02 DECEMBER 2012 WINDHOEK
Comrade Sam Nujoma, Founding President of the SWAPO Party and Father of the Namibian Nation,
Comrade Secretary General,
Comrade Deputy Secretary General,
Comrades Members of the Central Committee,
Comrades, Delegates to the 5th Congress,
Comrades, Veterans of our Liberation Struggle,
Distinguished Special Invited Delegates,
Distinguished Representatives of Sister Parties,
Members of the Diplomatic Corps,
Members of the Media,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
We have come to the conclusion of a very successful 5th Congress of the SWAPO Party, which took place at this venue from 29th November until today 2nd December 2012, under the theme "Towards Equity and Economic emancipation".
I would like to thank our Comrades and friends from the African continent and other parts of the world who joined us during this historic Congress. We have been greatly honoured by your presence and your expression of continued solidarity with our Party and our Country. I trust that you had a pleasant stay in the Republic of Namibia.
We wish you safe journeys back to your countries. I also kindly, request you to convey to your respective sister parties, organizations and institutions, our sincere gratitude and good wishes.
Let me also take this opportunity to thank all the delegates for their spirited participation in the discussions and the debates that we engaged in during this historic Congress. Your careful analysis of the Congress documents and your inputs have proved to be the critical factor to the success of this historic Congress.
I feel duty bound to express, on behalf of the entire SWAPO Party leadership and membership, our sincere appreciation to our senior Veterans of our revolution for their participation in this Congress. I also commend our Founding President Comrade Nujoma for his contribution during the discussions. We are all inspired by you wise counsel and voice of reason that you have shared with the delegates during this Congress. This Congress would not have taken place without the hard work and commitment of the National Preparatory Committee, the Secretariat, the Technical Sub-Committees and all those who were involved in the preparations. I, once again, thank them all for a marvelous job.
We are indeed in a jubilant and joyful mood because of the successful conclusion of our Congress. We have planned well and expended energy and substantial resources to hold a successful Congress. What we have planned for has happened. As such, we have every reason to be happy that we have discussed and disposed of all the items that were placed on our Agenda.
The SWAPO Party Membership and the people of our country have been awaiting the outcome of this Congress with great anticipation. As President of this Party, I am happy that we have passed forward-looking resolutions, most of which will be transformed into practical policies and action plans for implementation by our SWAPO Party Government.
These Resolutions were passed with full recognition of the developmental challenges facing our nation and in line with the priority areas that our Party and our Government must focus on, in order to bring about visible and accelerated improvements in the living conditions of our people.
The Resolutions have, therefore, sharpened our commitment and resolve to tackle and overcome the developmental challenges facing our nation.
The delegates to the Congress agreed with unanimity on specific priority areas of development that need immediate attention and action by the Government.
- accelerated employment creation;
- boosting food production;
- combating income inequality;
- accelerated land reform and land redistribution;
- strengthening our education system at all levels;
- expanding the national physical and communication infrastructure;
- improving the investment climate in the country in order to boost economic growth;
- improving and expanding public service delivery in the areas of health, housing and sanitation, and provision of potable water;
- addressing the access and affordability of residential land in urban and peri-urban areas; and
- accelerating development and service delivery in rural areas.
The delegates also emphasized the need to strengthen the current implementation mechanisms by our Government so that these priorities can be achieved speedily.
Going forward, the message from the Congress must be clear. We must move with speed and resolve in order to achieve the goals that we have set for ourselves. This message must be transmitted to all in the civil service and in state-owned enterprises, especially to those tasked with policy implementation and co-ordination. They must act speedily and ensure that the set goals are realized.
Although, progress has been made in many areas, thousands of Namibians are still waiting patiently for the delivery of basic public services. They should not wait any longer. We must turn our Resolutions into practical outcomes that will benefit all our people. We must implement our policies and show the nation that we are taking action to achieve the national development priorities.
At the opening of this Congress, I stated that we came here to work, to revitalize our Party and to renew our collective commitment, as a mass-based movement, to the historic mission of building a better Namibia. I also stated that in order to accomplish that mission, we must continue walking in the footsteps of our fore-bearers who laid a strong foundation of patriotism and nationalist resistance against the colonial occupation of our Motherland. I believe we have done just that over the last three days. We have done what we came here to do and we have done it successfully. I congratulate all delegates for doing their part to bring about this success. We must now face the future together and in unity of purpose with renewed energy and dedication to build a better society.
One of the most anticipated aspects of this Congress was the election of the President, Vice President, Secretary general and Deputy Secretary General of our Party. We have all heard the election results as announced by the Presiding Officer here today.
I take this opportunity to congratulate all the Comrades who were elected to the positions of leadership by this Congress.
- I warmly congratulate Comrade Dr Hage Geingob for his/her election as Vice President of the SWAPO Party;
- I warmly congratulate Comrade Nangolo Mbumba for his election as Secretary General of the SWAPO Party; and
- I warmly congratulate Comrade Laura McLeod-Katjirua for her election as Deputy Secretary General of the SWAPO Party.
I also warmly congratulate all the Comrades who were elected as Members of the Central Committee of the SWAPO Party. Allow me also to take this opportunity to commend all the Comrades who stood as candidates and participated in the elections. Your participations has served an important purpose, namely to strengthen the democratic culture and character of our Party. It has demonstrated the maturity of our internal democratic systems and the readiness of our Party Members to serve the Party in positions of leadership.
We all agree that this was a watershed Congress. I am happy that our Party has learnt from the lessons of history and we are all ready to embrace and support our newly elected leaders so that they can carry out their mandates in the interest of the SWAPO Party and the well being of the Namibian people.
I would like to reiterate my message at the opening of this Congress that it is the duty of all SWAPO Party members to accept the outcome of the elections. This is the only way we can continue to keep our Party united and stronger as we move into the future.
As the leaders elected by this Congress, and this includes me as President, I would like to say: We have received the mantle of leadership from the Party Members. It is our duty not only to lead, but equally importantly, to unite our people. It is our duty to lead with courage, humility, patience and vision. As leaders, we must provide clear and inclusive leadership that can inspire all our members to always strive for the achievement of the goals that we have set for ourselves.
With the conclusion of the Congress, we are looking to the future with the knowledge that through these elections, it is the SWAPO Party that has won. It is the SWAPO Party that has emerged stronger and more determined to carry forward the historic mission of building a better Namibia. We will work to the best of our abilities to fulfill the mandate bestowed on us by the SWAPO Party, through the delegates to our 5th Congress.
There is more work to be done. We must, therefore, summon the spirit of courage and commitment to live up to the task ahead. It is not enough to pass Congress Resolutions. These Resolutions must be turned into practical policies and programmes of action in order to make a positive difference in the lives of our people. This demands hard work. It demands commitment and it demands clarity of vision on what needs to be done.
I want to remind you, Dear Comrades, that more work lies ahead. We must put the necessary machinery in place to prepare for the 2014 Presidential and National Assembly Elections.
We must do prepare well and mobilize the Namibian people in order ensure a decisive electoral victory in 2014. Against this background, I call upon all SWAPO Party members to stand as a united team as we confront the socio-economic challenges facing our nation. We have defeated apartheid colonialism. We have brought freedom and independence to our country. Let us stand in unity. Let us join hands and walk together "Towards Equity and Economic Emancipation" of our people.
The Secretariat of the SWAPO Party will compile the outcome documents of the Congress. These will be distributed to the various structures of the Party to inform all our members and the nation at large about the outcome of this watershed Congress.
I wish each and every one of you a safe journey as you return to your respective destinations. I now have the pleasure to declare the 5th Congress of the SWAPO Party officially closed.
NOW, Hard Work!
I thank you.