The Namibian (Windhoek)

Namibia: Amukwiyu Remains Sole Candidate in Oshikoto

The Swapo Politburo has given the Oshikoto Region the green light to proceed with its regional conference, scheduled to take place this weekend.

The process was halted last month when the Politburo declared the re-election of Swapo regional coordinator Armas Amukwiyu null and void over some procedures that were not followed.

Swapo secretary general Pendukeni Iivula-Ithana last month made the announcement that "the party's Politburo found it irregular and unacceptable that a the region had ignored the rules governing the holding of a regional conference, forcing it to nullify such a conference as null and void."

Oshikoto had failed to submit the names of the nominated candidates for the position of regional coordinator, one of which should be a woman, to the party headquarters for verification.

The region was instructed to correct the irregularity, which the chairperson of the party leaders assigned to the Oshikoto Region, Nicky Iyambo, yesterday confirmed was done.

"It was just a procedure that needed to be corrected. After the Politburo's decision, the Oshikoto extraordinary regional executive met and just reaffirmed what was decided upon earlier and sent the name of the nominated candidate to the party headquarters as it was demanded. Everything is back on track and set for the conference this weekend," he said.

The party's deputy secretary general, Nangolo Mbumba, also confirmed that the error has been corrected and that the Politburo has given the go-ahead.

"They notified the headquarters on who their candidates are, in this case there was only one candidate for regional coordinator, which is fine, as long as the party headquarters are notified. The headquarters has verified that all the requirements were met and everything is in order," he said.

Amukwiyu expressed gratitude to the delegates for nominating him.

He said the delegates at Saturday's conference will be informed of the Politburo's stance and will be given their democratic right to air any views or grievances they may have.

"This is not going to be an autocratic process. Everyone will be given their constitutional right to say what they want to say," he said.

The former mayor of Tsumeb, Engel Nawatiseb, was elected as the party's treasurer for the region, while the former leader of the Namibia National Teachers' Union, (Nantu), David Mulunga, was re-elected as the party's secretary of information and mobilisation in Oshikoto.

Swapo is to hold its congress towards the end of the year to elect a vice president, secretary general and deputy secretary general, among other positions.

The main contenders for the vice presidency at this stage are Trade Minister Hage Geingob, Justice Minister Pendukeni Iivula-Ithana, Regional and Local Government Minister Jerry Ekandjo, Prime Minister Nahas Angula and Foreign Affairs Minister Uutoni Nujoma.

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