11 August 2017

Namibia: Oshikoto Retains Amukwiyu As Coordinator

Oshikoto Swapo regional conference yesterday retained Armas Amukwiyu as the regional coordinator.

The conference had been postponed three times due to complaints from members and the regional executive.

Amukwiyu comprehensively defeated Swapo veteran Max Nekongo by 67 votes to 17.

Saara Shikokola was elected regional secretary for information and mobilisation, taking over from David 'Quito' Mulunga, while public enterprises deputy minister Engel Nawatiseb was elected regional treasurer.

The conference also elected delegates to the Swapo congress, which is slated for November.

The Namibian reported last month that there were allegations of national leaders assigned to the region interfering with district restructuring processes and had on numerous occasions intimidated and de-campaigned candidates who ran for regional leadership positions.

The regional leadership had since called for a vote of no confidence in the chairperson of the national leaders assigned to the region, Penda ya Ndakolo, citing favouritism.

Swapo secretary general Nangolo Mbumba requested on 7 July that the process be halted to allow investigations into alleged irregularities around nominations, the use of party funds and vehicles, and elections at branch and district levels.

Laura McLeod Katjirua chaired the verification team sent to Oshikoto to probe claims that rules and procedures were not followed during district conferences. The team also probed allegations against the leaders assigned to the region.

The team concluded that there was justification in both the "vote of no confidence and alleged lack of coordination".

Both Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, a member of the verification team, and Ya Ndakolo said the issues that caused the postponement had been resolved.

"The party wants the people to work together for the benefit of all. We worked as directed by the politburo and the constitution," said Ya Ndakolo.

Amukwiyu described the event as the "battle of Cuito Cuanavale in an independent Namibia".

He called on government to respect ordinary voters and to implement the party's election manifesto of 1989. He said Swapo belonged to the masses.

"No matter how powerful individuals might be today, they will come and go, but Swapo Party must live for our children, grandchildren and future generations," he said. Oshikoto is the 12th region to complete its conference. Only Omaheke and Kavango West are still to conduct their conferences.

Meanwhile, there are allegations that the chairperson of the national leaders assigned to Omaheke region Benard Esau and governor Festus Ueitele tried to intervene with the politburo's verification team yesterday. Sources said Esau and Ueitele presented a letter saying it was a directive from Mbumba stating that Frans Murangi was not recognised as Okorukambe district coordinator.

Mbumba last week said the politburo had endorsed the results of the Okorukambe district conference that elected Murangi.

Mbumba yesterday said the party was yet to receive a report from the team assigned to the region.

"We have a team of elders there that are conducting their task and report. It is premature for me to comment on these things now as they happen. Wait until we have the report from the team," he said.

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