New Era (Windhoek)

27 November 2012

Namibia: Ekandjo Calls for Unity of Purpose

Rundu — Unity is a term that is being spouted at every opportunity by the three candidates for the ruling party's vice-presidency as the race heats up ahead of the congress.

However, many people remain anxious to see if unity will indeed remain intact after the much-awaited Swapo Party Congress.

As vice-presidential hopeful Jerry Ekandjo wrapped up his campaign in Rundu over the weekend, unity was once again the refrain in his address at a rally that saw a throng of party loyalists in the north-eastern town rallying behind him.

"Those who fall out must support the winners. This election is not against our opponents or opposition. We must not view it in that light, it is to strengthen unity within the party," he said.

Ekandjo will lock horns with Dr Hage Geingob the incumbent vice-president and the secretary general Pendukeni Iivula-Ithana for the position that will see the winner become the next occupant of State House, after President Hifikepunye Pohamba completes his second and last five-year term in office.

Following Ekandjo's recent calls to municipalities to stop the exploitative land auctions, many people seem to have thrown their support behind him - hoping that he will be the man to end the ridiculously inflated prices at which land is sold in the country.

"Not all candidates vying for a certain position will win, therefore there are those that will not get their preferred positions. The elections we are having at the congress is to strengthen the party, and by doing so we are giving room to every Swapo member to elect or to be elected into a position of power. Let's maintain unity even after the congress and embrace one another so that Swapo can stand strong," Ekandjo said.

He also challenged women and the youth to prepare to take up the reins of government in 2014, adding that the leaders that have laid the foundation are slowly but surely relinquishing power.

"During the 2014 general elections most of the old guns will disappear, with some nature will take its toll and others will be voted out, therefore we expect many newcomers," he said. Just like all other vice-presidential hopefuls, unity of purpose in the party was the hallmark of all his campaign message.

Described by many as a loyal and principled leader, Ekandjo told the gathering that "Namibia can only grow when peace and unity prevails."

Accompanying Ekandjo was Utoni Nujoma who is contesting the position of secretary general, the Minister of Health and Social Services Dr Richard Kamwi and his Deputy Petrina Haingura, Swapo Party Youth League Secretary, Dr Elijah Ngurare, and the SPYL Deputy Secretary Veikko Nekundi.

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