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Caprivi votes in spite of dramatic walk-out
Daggers were drawn between Mafwe and Masubia supporters of the ruling Swapo Party in the Caprivi Region, with two of the six districts in that region staging a spectacular walk-out from a regional conference over the weekend.
The two tribes have been at loggerheads in recent weeks as each tried to claim a fair share of positions available of Swapo structures in the region.
Not even under the umbrella of Swapo were the two tribes, who have a long history of not seeing eye-to-eye or able to sit under one roof and elect their regional leaders and delegates to the Swapo congress that is slated for November this year.
On Saturday, Katima Mulilo Urban and Kabbe district members, allegedly led by district mobiliser Christopher Ndereki, boycotted the regional conference citing the absence of Swapo leaders assigned to Caprivi.
They also claimed that they were not granted enough time to prepare for the event that was already postponed last weekend due to tribally-fuelled differences.
Last week saw the tribal tension escalating, resulting in the Mafwe tribesmen calling on President Hifikipunye Pohamba to intervene and help resolve the disputes between the two tribes in the interest of the party in the Caprivi Region.
This is the second time the two constituencies have boycotted the event as they did on June 30, the initial date set for the regional conference to take place but had to be postponed to July 7 because of the absence of the leaders.
Sources say that despite the absence of Ministers John Mutorwa, Doreen Sioka, Nangolo Mbumba and Stanley Simataa, the event went ahead because the four remaining districts managed a quorum, Namibian Sun is informed.
Swapo functionaries in the far-east region cited the Swapo constitution, particularly article 11, which states that the quorum of the regional conference shall be a simple majority of the delegates entitled to attend and vote.
“The boycotting of the event did not serve a purpose as during the initial date set for the conference to take place in June, it was resolved by the regional executive committee for all district co-ordinators to inform their delegates to attend on the new date for the conference,” a prominent Swapo member said.
Those who walked out claimed that they were in no way prepared to attend the event as they were allegedly informed at the eleventh hour.
But others in the party have rubbished this as cheap talk, saying everyone who was present at the failed June 30 regional conference was informed of the postponement and the new date.
In the end, the conference saw the majority winners, such as acting Regional Co-ordinator Linus Mafale, being confirmed into that position after edging out former Kabbe Constituency Councillor Peter Mwala.
Ministry of Education Director Austin Samupwa was elected as the regional mobiliser, a position he was contesting against Katima Mulilo Town Council official Charles Matengu.
Mary Masule was elected Regional Treasurer.