The Namibian (Windhoek)

3 December 2012

Namibia: Swapo Youth League the Biggest Loser

THE Swapo Party Youth League (SPYL) was given a political lesson after none of their nominated candidates failed to get a top seat at the Swapo congress over the weekend.

All three candidates namely Foreign Affairs Minister Uutoni Nujoma, Regional and Local Government Minister Jerry Ekandjo and Education Minister Abraham Iyambo, all ended on the losing side.

In the midst of celebration at the Safari Hotel, Prime Minister Nahas Angula had a few words for Veikko Nekundi, the Swapo youth league member in the new Swapo Central Committee in addition to its secretary who as the head of SPYL automatically becomes a member.

“You have to behave now,” Angula jokingly told Nekundi yesterday.

Asked for comment at the hall, Job Amupanda, the SPYL’s secretary of information, emphasised on unity within the party, adding that democracy prevailed. He was unreachable afterwards.

Edward Kafita, the secretary for international affairs, said the fact that three of their nominated cadres did not make it was nothing, since this was a democratic process.

“This is not the first and not the last congress we will attend,” he added.

According to him, the youth as a movement will continue to implement their congress resolutions without fear or favour.

The SPYL, which is branded radical, pronounced victory in October when all of their preferred candidates made the cut to compete at the fifth congress.

However, yesterday’s outcome was sour news for the youth wing as it emerged that only one of its proposed leaders made it to the ruling party’s central committee.

The lesson comes a few months after their proposal to bring back three retired generals as their preferred delegates to the Swapo leadership also suffered a setback.

They nominated retired Major General Peter Nambundunga, retired Lieutenant General Martin Shalli and retired Lieutenant General Salomon ‘Jesus’ Hawala, also known as ‘The Butcher of Lubango.

The youth league later withdrew the names after the generals did not accept the nominations.

President Pohamba who is the Commander-in-Chief of the Namibia Defence Force (NDF), is said to have made the request to save him “embarrassment” since the retired generals are still perceived to be under his command.

The SPYL leadership was seen as intolerant to their members, who did not support the league’s preferred candidates.

Mandela Kapere of the National Youth Council was one of the youth leaders who backed vice president Hage Geingob. Kapere and the NYC are subject to a youth league investigation into the affairs of the council.

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