6 December 2012

Namibia: SPYL 'Not Moved' By Kazenambo's Axing

THE Swapo Party Youth League (SPYL) has welcomed the dismissal of former Youth, Sport and Culture Minister Kazenambo Kazenambo.

President Hifikepunye Pohamba told the SPYL congress in September that he appointed youth league members to help push the young people’s agenda and if they felt their leaders were not delivering, they should take themselves to task instead of pointing the finger elsewhere.

As a result, the SPYL wrote a letter the next month urging the president to fire the youth minister.

Jerry Ekandjo, the former minister of regional and local government, housing and rural development, is now the minister of youth and sport, a move that comes as a victory for the youth league, which was called the biggest loser at the just-concluded Swapo congress.

None of the three candidates nominated by the youth league for the positions of vice president, secretary general and deputy secretary general was elected. They were Ekandjo, Utoni Nujoma and Abraham Iyambo.

The league’s attempt to include three retired generals among its delegates to the party congress also failed when the generals declined the nominations.

A SPYL Central Committee member told The Namibian yesterday that they were “not even moved” when Kazenambo was fired on Monday, adding that President Pohamba should have acted against him earlier.

The SPYL’s deputy secretary, Veikko Nekundi, yesterday said every minister who is appointed as minister of youth should implement various youth programmes in all 13 regions.

According to him, the youth league cannot dictate what the minister must implement, but they would like to see genuine economic emancipation and rural development for young people across the country.

“We will be happy if he [Ekandjo] can continuously consult the youth. We also want the implementation of SPYL congress resolutions,” he added.

Nekundi refused to buy into the idea that President Pohamba had acted because of pressure from the youth, saying that Ekandjo was appointed in order to implement policies that would benefit young people.

The decision to redeploy Ekandjo to the Youth Ministry is also seen as connecting the party youth with the man they wanted as the next president.

Kazenambo had a number of run-ins with the Swapo Party Youth League and the ‘children of the liberation struggle’ and was also involved in a public spat with the secretary of the youth league.

Ekandjo told The Namibian yesterday that he was excited and looking forward to working with the youth “because they are the future”.

Ekandjo also spoke about the need of getting experience in other fields, and the youth agenda is up next for him.

He would not go into details of what he brings to the youth ministry though, saying he is yet to consult with his new colleagues.

“The permanent secretary will tell me about their programmes and I will have to make sure they are implemented,” he added.

Ekandjo also spoke about the good reception he has received from young people across the country.

“Most of the youth are calling and SMSing to congratulate me. The sports people are also contacting me, wishing me luck,” he said.

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