Shanghala should be impartial
Allow me space in your media to express my views on the alleged infighting in the ruling party.
I quote a recent report by an English daily: “The Swapo succession fight started in earnest this past weekend when the Geingob faction in the Swapo Party Youth League (SPYL) for a second time failed to oust its secretary, Elijah Ngurare, during a Central Committee meeting. In a surprise move, SPYL’s secretary for labour and justice, Sacky Shanghala, a confidant of Swapo secretary general and Justice Minister Pendukeni Iivula-Ithana, spearheaded the attempt to get rid of Ngurare….” I was prompted to quote this report after I followed the debate on social media group “Youths in Politics” on Facebook. What interests me is the possible conflict of interest surrounding Sacky Shangala, chairperson of the Law Reform and Development Commission (LRDC). LRDC is a Government agency entrusted with the very important task of reforming the law and development agenda.
The commission is currently conducting a hearing on the revamping of the Electoral Act. The very same Shanghala who leads this institution, is reportedly an active member of the SPYL. Worse still, he is involved in political squabbles and/or political camps emanating from the upcoming Swapo Party’s leadership succession and presidential contest.
Does that augur well with the principle of impartiality and high moral ground in serving the public without favour or discrimination?
I know that Mr Shanghala is an independent-minded young man but the perception being created by his role in SPYL activities make a mockery of the task the Namibian nation has entrusted him with. He will not have the full confidence and trust of all political shareholders and stakeholders, especially when he is dealing with the very sensitive issue of the Electoral Act or reforming laws. I fully agree with those who are arguing that “the chairman of LRDC does not have to be politically active for the sake of successful electoral and or law reform. Since the chairman is active in politics, he will hardly utilise his academics without compromising the principles.”
It would be an honourable thing to do for him to give up one of the positions so that he avoids conflict emanating from having two opposite positions at the same time. He will have to compromise one in favour of the other.