New Era (Windhoek)

Namibia: SPYL Accused of Being Spoilers

Rundu — With just days to go before the Swapo Party Congress, the Swapo Party Youth League (SPYL) has been accused of spoiling what many term as 'mature campaigns' by the three vice-presidential candidates.

The incumbent Swapo Party vice-president Dr Hage Geingob, the Secretary General Pendukeni Iivula-Ithana and Secretary for Information and Mobilisation Jerry Ekandjo will contest the position of party vice-president and the winner will automatically become the party's candidate for the 2014 presidential election, and for all intents and purposes the next president of Namibia.

Former SPYL Central Committee member Wensel Mavara lambasted the youth wing for tarnishing Jerry Ekandjo's campaign with what he described as "unfounded allegations". "Jerry is a tested cadre, but the SPYL is damaging his campaign by accusing the other candidates of foul play. Allegations such as the assassination attempt when Jerry's official vehicle was involved in an accident and the one whereby the current VP is said to have received more protection than the other two, hold no water," charged Mavara.

According to him, most regional structures and senior party cadres will rather opt to rally behind the other two candidates, because of the SPYL's negative bearing on Ekandjo's campaign. Mavara said the SPYL has lost its vision, because the wing has stopped advocating for matters affecting the youth and is now advocating on behalf of retired generals and war veterans.

"Instead of presenting their own candidate for the VP position or any of the positions to represent the youth in the top structures, they throw their support behind Ekandjo. Is this how we want to empower the youth?" asked Mavara.

Mavara accused the youth wing of revolting against the Namibian youth by rallying behind older candidates instead of the youth. "You cannot neglect the people who voted for you and rally behind elders to lead you."

Mavara, who openly aligned himself with the current vice-president Geingob, said Geingob is the candidate who can spearhead Namibia's economic emancipation agenda. "We need to support him to maintain peace, unity and stability. By voting for him we will be upholding Swapo's tradition of continuity," he said.

Asked what the SPYL's rationale is to support Ekandjo, Mavara alleged that past clashes between Ekandjo and Kazenambo may be a contributing factor.

"We all know that Kazenambo Kazenambo and Elijah Ngurare clashed publicly, and that Kazenambo and Jerry were also not on good terms during their time together at the Ministry of Regional and Local Government, Housing and Rural Development. And the fact that Kazenambo is supporting the current VP, means SPYL would not want to support the same candidate as Kazenambo," he said. He however congratulated the contestants for campaigning in a mature manner without hurling insults at each other.

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