17 March 2017

Namibia: Youth Factions Unite Against Swapo Elders

TWO youth factions that fiercely fought each other for control of the Swapo youth league at the league's last congress have now united to take on the party's elders.

The faction members, among them former allies of President Hage Geingob and those who supported Jerry Ekandjo during the ruling party's 2012 elective congress, on Wednesday gathered in Windhoek in what they described as "the common purpose of unity".

Former Swapo Party Youth League (SPYL) secretary Elijah Ngurare yesterday confirmed the gathering, photos of which appeared in various social media on Wednesday evening already.

He said the factions had decided to bury the hatchet and to join forces in confronting their common enemy. Refering to the party's senior leaders, Ngurare stated: "They are happy to see us disunited, but unhappy to see us united."

Since the photo of businessman Desmond Amunyela, Job Amupanda, Elijah Ngurare, Armas Amukwiyu and businessman Vaino Nghipondoka went viral on Wednesday night, speculation has also run rife that the former foes had come together to plot how to undermine the party's leadership.

However, Ngurare said they met in the interest of advancing unity amongst the party's youth.

One of the claims yesterday from a youth leader in the Oshikoto region, Edward Gabriel, was that the five met to discuss the dissociation of Swapo members from the Affirmative Repositioning (AR) movement and to dissolve AR.

AR frontman Job Amupanda, however, denied this and requested of Gabriel, in a recorded telephone call, to not spread untruths about AR being the focus of discussion at the meeting.

It is no secret that there has been animosity and conflict amongst those who gathered on Wednesday evening.

While Amunyela, Amukwiyu and Nghipondoka supported Geingob at the last Swapo congress, Ngurare campaigned against them for Ekandjo.

Amupanda had in the past made no secret of his differences with Amukwiyu and at one point even tweeted that he would set his dog on Amukwiyu.

Ngurare admitted that there had been differences in the past, but was quick to point out that the peace pipe has been smoked amongst the warring factions to bring about unity.

"There is no point that after 26 years of independence we are still fighting. We decided that it is better we bury whatever petty issues we have, to stand together in unity," Ngurare said.

Efforts to get comment from Amunyela and Nghipondoka were not successful.

Ngurare also posted on his Face-book page that the youth leaders have been witness to the infighting amongst the generation before them, only to later re-unite over a "delicious dinner at State House".

Referring to his, Amupanda's and George Kambala's misconduct charges, Ngurare said that they needed to come together against those abusing their powers within government and Swapo to fight personal wars.

"Why should we be charged? For what? When it is their children, they keep quiet. You see, that is abuse of power," he said.

He said the youth would unite and use their strengths, resources and intellects to become a force within the party and to bring about genuine economic advancement and independence.


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