29 November 2012

Namibia: Party Presidential Candidate Says Opponents Ran Out of Ideas

SWAPO vice presidential candidate Hage Geingob says his opponents have run out of ideas and are now questioning his membership of the party.

Geingob played down allegations about his membership by showing his party card to the audience at his last campaign rally in Windhoek on Tuesday evening.

The allegation was that Geingob made a last-minute attempt not to fall foul of the party rules by renewing his membership card only last week.

The trade and industry minister, who is tipped to become the country’s next head of state if he wins the party vice presidency race, rejected the allegations.

He said he wondered how someone could be in a political party like Swapo for such a long time without a membership card.

“It’s not my fault that I was a member of Swapo even before some of you were born,” he said.

“How do you go to that level? They have run out of ideas,” Geingob said.

Geingob has been a member of Swapo since the early 1960s and people with knowledge of party rules speculate that he was merely playing it safe to avoid giving his opponents ammunition to raise technical issues about his ‘good standing’.

Geingob, who earlier this week refused to talk to The Namibian about the allegations, branded those who made the accusations as “rumour mongers”.

A former deputy minister and Okaku constituency councillor, Henock ya Kasita, without mentioning names, accused one of the three candidates of not being a paid-up party member.

“They have rejoined after they went wherever they went. They renewed, and it’s not even a month,” Ya Kasita said over the weekend.

The allegation that made the rounds in Swapo was that Geingob had approached the party administrators to pay his membership dues. When he was asked to show his card, he couldn’t and offered to have his membership backdated to April 1994, which was allegedly the last time he had paid the fees. But sources also stated that Geingob has consistently paid the much bigger contribution of one percent of his salary to Swapo.

At Tuesday’s rally, Geingob described himself as a good administrator. “I’ve been to all the regions. I have one more day before the congress. It shows that I’m a good administrator and a good time manager,” he said to thunderous applause and cheers.

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