New Era (Windhoek)

19 April 2013

Namibia: Swapo Party to Mark 53 Years

Tsumeb — Swapo Party Vice President Dr Hage Geingob will address supporters at Khorixas in the Kunene Region on Saturday to mark the ruling party's 53rd anniversary.

Swapo Party Coordinator for the Kunene Region, John Gawusab, said his office has been inundated with requests for membership by hundreds of individuals, who have defected to the ruling party. The new members, the majority of them defectors from the United Democratic Front (UDF) will be welcomed officially by Dr Geingob in a move, which is likely to further weaken that party in its traditional stronghold in that region, according to Gawuseb.

"Their morale is very high. The people have confidence in the Swapo Party, as they have always been. They are very hopeful in terms of delivery of services, in terms of the implementation of the Swapo Party Election Manifesto in the Kunene Region as well," said the coordinator. Gawusab said his team is making preparations to ensure the rally is a major success, noting that the Swapo Party Vice President has always been a respected leader in the region.

"The mood in the region is very high, the people are looking forward to receive the VP and his message to the region and its people is expected to play down well in the hearts of those who always wished to join the ruling party. Many more are expected to join on the day of the rally," Gawusab said in a telephonic interview.

The Kunene Region has caused the Swapo Party countless headaches in the past, though it managed to snatch away the Daures constituency from the opposition during the last national elections. Gawusab is confident that party functionaries have positioned themselves well, ahead of the 2014 national and presidential elections, when Dr Geingob is expected to be the sole presidential candidate of the ruling party.

Wresting the Daures constituency from the opposition, their first defeat is a sign that the dominance of the UDF is slowly dwindling Gawuseb said. Unconfirmed reports circulating have it that UDF leader Chief Justus //Garoeb will not contest the presidency come 2014 and is in fact likely to join the ruling party with his subjects. The Deputy Mayor of Otjiwarongo, Archie Namaseb is reported to be a classical example of a long-serving former UDF stalwart who crossed over to the ruling party with his supporters.

Meanwhile, the former Regional Coordinator of the ruling party in the Otjozondjuba Region, Otto Ipinge, congratulated the party on its birthday. "We have a collective responsibility to preserve the gains of a free and independent Namibia on all fronts, social, economic, cultural and political in the interest of all Namibians. It is part of this heavy responsibility that must propel us to break the shackles of entitlement and arrogance of being more human than others" Ipinge said.

He added that Namibians should embrace the virtues of hard work, honesty, patriotism, national unity and equality. Swapo Party Youth League Secretary Dr Elijah Ngurare has also invited the party faithful and sympathisers to join Geingob at the Herbert Conradie Stadium in Khorixas on Saturday from 10h00. "Come one and all and join us as we take you down the memory lane of the liberation struggle for the total independence of Namibia and the consolidation of our principles of national unity under the banner of freedom, solidarity and justice," said the SPYL secretary. Swapo Party Secretary General Nangolo Mbumba is also expected to attend the event.

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