New Era (Windhoek)

29 November 2012

Namibia: Ekandjo Pledges to Empower Youth

Jerry Ekandjo, who is the Swapo Party secretary for information and publicity and one of the three candidates contesting the party's vice-presidency, wrapped up his campaign in the Caprivi Region on Monday.

Swapo Party Youth League (SPYL) Secretary, Dr Elijah Ngurare, and his deputy Veikko Nekundi accompanied Ekandjo. Ekandjo appealed for unity and revealed that amendments to the party's constitution are a likely possibility early next year with the aim of strengthening the party's structures. "There's a committee responsible for the amendment of the constitution and the chairperson is Dr Albert Kawana. Two weeks ago the amendment proposal was forwarded to the Politburo and the Politburo realised that it was too late to be discussed by congress. Early next year, there will be an Extraordinary Congress, primarily to look at the amendment of the constitution," said Ekandjo.

"We would want our governors and councillors for example to be part of the Swapo Party regional executive. Swapo and the government should be one. The right hand must know what the left hand is doing," said Ekandjo. Ekandjo further revealed during his campaign meeting that the Delimitation Commission set up every 10 years to review regional and constituency boundaries has been constituted and would begin its work early next year.

"During the first delimitation, we had seven constituencies in Caprivi, because Mukwe was part of Caprivi then. Two weeks ago, the President established the 3rd Delimitation Commission and the National Assembly has approved it. The commission is made up of three members and the Chairperson of the Commission is High Court Judge Alfred Siboleka, who is from this region. I am sure by early next year they will start visiting regions, be ready to take the lead as Swapo leaders," he urged his audience.

Ngurare, the SPYL secretary mentioned youth empowerment, rural development and genuine economic empowerment as core issues embodying Ekandjo's campaign. "The majority of those who vote for Swapo are poor and young people and women. When we speak of youth empowerment we are targeting those who live in rural areas. We must address the challenges of the silent majority, because they may not be that vocal. We must always remember those majorities.

Therefore, our message is youth empowerment, rural development and genuine economic empowerment," he said. Ngurare did not take kindly to accusations leveled against the youth movement and feels the youth wing has helped elevate a number of Swapo Party members into top positions. "The youth worked very hard for a number of comrades to be called honourables. Now when the youth are trying to do something in the contestation, some people are saying the youth are a problem. When we were making you honourable you liked us. In 2009, when we said let's use 'politainment' in contestation, how many old musicians did we use? We used young ones for whom you should have a feeling of acceptance," stressed Ngurare.

Ngurare appealed for unity and said he believes Ekandjo understands the aspirations of the common people.

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