Windhoek — Swapo Party Secretary General Pendukeni Iivula-Ithana says delegates at the elective Swapo Party Congress should vote for her not only to make the party proud of voting for a credible candidate, but also to make Namibia proud of having voted for the first female Namibian president, and only the third in Africa.
"Electing a female president who is competent and has the ability to lead will add a lot of credibility and [boost the] reputation ... and the image of Namibian democracy and shall propel our country into [the ranks] of leaders of democracy," she said.
She addressed the media and members of the Swapo Party rank and file, most of them from the Swapo Party Women's Council at the official launch of her election campaign for the Swapo Party vice-presidency, which is a gateway to State House in 2014.
As part of her campaign strategy, Iivula-Ithana is equipped with a six-page A5 booklet, printed on both sides containing her biography, her personal values and principles, and her political role during the liberation struggle, among others. She has also printed a one-page A4 leaflet, depicting herself with a short summary of her vision for Namibia.
Iivula-Iithana said the aim of the launch was to present her credentials and experience to a wider public, as well as her vision and roadmap for the party and the country. She added that being the outgoing secretary general of the party, she is aware of the challenges that face the country.
Among her credentials, Iivula-Ithana said she has spent 32 years in the leadership of Swapo. She is also a founding member of the Namibian constitution and a lawyer by profession, having obtained a B. Juris and LLB (Hons) from the University of Namibia.
She also holds a diploma in public administration from the United Nations Institute for Namibia (UNIN) in Zambia and a certificate in public administration and strategic public sector negotiations from Harvard University.
Her rival and incumbent Swapo Party vice-president and Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr Hage Geingob, headed UNIN during their years of exile in Zambia.
She further said that under her leadership as secretary general of the Swapo Party, she withstood the formation of the Rally for Democracy and Progress.
Iivula-Ithana is up against two other candidates, Dr Hage Geingob and the Minister of Regional and Local Government, Housing and Rural Development, Jerry Ekandjo, who is also the party secretary for information, mobilisation and publicity.
She appealed to the other two contenders to lead a clean campaign free of defamation and character assassination. "Let the tenets of democracy be the guiding principle of our primary election campaigns. After the second of December, we will all come together and embrace each other and continue to advance the cause of our party and country."
Among those in attendance were the deputy speaker of the National Assembly Loide Kasingo, who was also the chairperson of the launch, Eunice Ipinge, the deputy secretary of the Swapo Party Women's Council, Member of Parliament Alexia Manombe-Ncube, Khomas Swapo Party regional coordinator Godhartt Kasuto and Omusati Swapo Party regional coordinator, Errki Endjala.
The Swapo Party Congress is scheduled for November 29 until December 02.
The position of secretary general will be contested by Safety and Security Minister Nangolo Mbumba and Foreign Affairs Minister Utoni Nujoma, while Minister of Education Abraham Iyambo and Governor of the Omaheke Region Laura Mcleod-Katjirua will contest the position of deputy secretary general.