Swapo spokesperson Hilma Nicanor yesterday said the party is yet to pronounce itself on its members who have succeeded in being voted into power as independent candidates at the expense
of the ruling party. This follows Friday's expulsion of 2019 independent presidential candidate Dr Panduleni Itula from the ruling party. Itula had challenged Geingob for the presidency and obtained nearly 30% of the total vote, compared to Geingob's 56%.
"What I communicated is the decision of one of the organs of the party politburo. The decision
was made on the case of Dr Itula. That is what I communicated. Now bring in other matters and
expect me to have answers; for now, I don't think that is in order really," Nicanor reacted yesterday.
The Swapo party politburo met on Thursday, where it resolved in terms of Article 13(8) of the
Swapo party constitution to expel Itula from the party with immediate effect.
Shaningwa explained all party members, including Itula, were under an obligation to observe and comply with the decisions, resolutions and directives of the majority, even when solidarity, freedom and justice supported and acted on behalf of and in collaboration with counterrevolutionary forces, whose main aim is
to destroy and weaken the party, and damaged its electoral fortunes and that of its presidential candidate.
Walvis Bay Urban councillor Knowledge Ipinge, a self-admitted Swapo member, stood as an independent and against a Swapo candidate during the by-election in January. Ipinge emerged victorious ahead of Swapo's Sirie Topulathana, Richard Hoaseb of the PDM, as well as fellow independent candidate Kennedy Iilonga. Another independent candidate is Katjanaa Kaurivi, who in 2015 won as a councillor for Otjombinde constituency in the Omaheke region. Kaurivi has reportedly been a member of Swapo since 1984.
Approached for comment, Ipinge said he was not surprised by Itula's firing. "I am not surprised at all by Swapo, as the two are at an impasse now and it is in the best interest of all for them to go their separate ways. It has been a ticking bomb, as Itula's relationship with Swapo is unrepairable at this stage and my advice to him is to let go," Ipinge said yesterday.
Ipinge said he only opted to stand as an independent candidate because he wanted to address issues facing the community of Walvis Bay.
"I am surprised that I was not expelled too. However, I only opted to stand as an independent candidate in the by-election for Walvis Bay Urban constituency because I wanted the residents to vote for me based on issues rather than on the basis of political ideology," Ipinge explained while adding the "elders" had coerced him in joining Swapo at a relatively young age.
"The fact that I've unapologetically been on the forefront of Affirmative Repositioning since December 2014 and refused to serve in Swapo structures for years, despite multiple opportunities granted, speaks volumes on how I'll never subscribe nor support their political tribalism agenda," he said.