A GROUP of businesspeople in northern Namibia have called on Swapo members to support Pendukeni Iivula-Ithana in her bid to win the party's vice presidency at next week's congress.
Businessman Tomas Iindji addressed a gathering at Ongwediva on Tuesday where they announced that they would be backing Iivula-Ithana for the position of Swapo vice president.
Iindji, who is also the deputy chairperson of the Swapo preparatory committee for the congress, said some of the businesspeople pledged money at a dinner which raised N$2,6 million for the congress.
Iindji, who is also the chairperson of the Namibia Chamber of Commerce and Industry's northern branch, said there were about 33 businesspeople who endorsed Iivula-Ithana as the next Swapo presidential candidate. Among them are Kornelia Shilunga, Lazarus Emvula, Josua Haimbodi and Peter Mutumbulwa, he said.
Haimbodi pledged N$50 000 at the dinner that was held at Ongwediva.
Swapo secretary general Pendukeni Iivula-Ithana will battle it out with incumbent vice president Hage Geingob and the party's secretary for information, Jerry Ekandjo.
"Qualities and credentials were considered in relation to the critical issues which the current and future leadership of the ruling party would be expected to address," Indji said.
Iindji is a member of the Swapo Party Youth League central committee. The youth wing's top leaders are campaigning for Ekandjo.
"We need the individual who wins the vice presidency to be a trusted cadre, an experienced leader both at the party and state levels, a visionary leader with the ability to make wise decisions, a fearless defender of the party and the sovereignty of the country, an individual with unquestionable integrity as well as someone with ability to put a dead end to corruption," Iindji said.
"We can see these qualities in the current secretary general of Swapo, Comrade Pendukeni Iivula-Ithana, and we therefore endorse her for election as the new vice president of Swapo at the upcoming elective congress."
He said the group was convinced of Ithana's vision for Namibia and her belief in the creation of an environment which will encourage investment and stimulate economic activity.
Last weekend the Swapo Party Women's Council announced that they supported Iivula-Ithana even though their secretary, Petrina Haingura, said she was behind Ekandjo.
The women's league also endorsed Omaheke Governor Laura McLeod-Katjirua in the race against Abraham Iyambo for the position of deputy secretary general.
The league has 46 women candidates who are standing for Central Committee positions at the congress.