Namibia: Swapo Readies for Keetmans By-Election

SWAPO has chosen Keetmanshoop Urban district coordinator Festus Shilimela as the party's candidate for the Keetmanshoop Urban constituency by-election set to take place next month.

The regional constituency councillor vacancy came after former veterans' affairs deputy minister Hilma Nicanor resigned to contest for the National Assembly seat in the just concluded national elections.

//Kharas Swapo party regional coordinator Mathew Mumbala yesterday confirmed Shilimela's election as a candidate for the by-election at the party's district elective conference on Wednesday afternoon.

Shilimela, who is also the Keetmanshoop local authority councillor, got 24 out of the 50 votes cast, beating Johannes Paul Kisting, who had 14 votes, Martino Kamati (7) and Ulrich Dawids (5).

Mumbala, in his welcoming remarks at the district elective conference on Wednesday suggested that parliamentarians should be allowed to only serve three terms.

"The president is also given only a 10-year period, thus parliamentarians should also be limited to serve only three consecutive terms if elected," he argued.

With reference to results of the just concluded presidential and National Assembly elections, which show that Swapo lost in the //Kharas region, Mumbala said "we must do metrospection within the party in the region".

"Engage those of us who had supported the independent presidential candidate (Dr Panduleni Itula), and convince them to [support] only those candidates endorsed by the party in national elections," he urged party members.

However, he was quick to suggest that the party must expel those who fail to heed calls not to support independent candidates, whom the party has not endorsed in national elections.

Most urban voters supported Itula and the new kid on the block, Landless People's Movement at Keetmanshoop Urban constituency during the just-ended national elections.

The politician called on incumbent and future Swapo party political office bearers to focus on addressing issues of unemployment, tertiary fees and housing, affecting the young citizens of the country.

"Leaders must learn to listen to the youth. Our young generation is speaking to such a degree we want to listen to them," he remarked.

The party's national assigned leader to//Kharas region, Agnes Tjongarero, implored members to work harder for the party to regain the support lost during the recent national elections.

She said the youth in the country were complaining too much and should rather come up with proposals to the government on how to improve their living standards.

"We need to think out of the box for change," she advised.

The parliamentarian said: "It won't be business as usual for the party's political office bearers after the elections."

"The president (Hage Geingob) won't spare anyone, and us national leaders will also not spare anyone," she said without going into details.

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