Nekundi at the centre of candidate mess

11 July 2019 | Politics

A lack of proper communication between Swapo's Oshana leadership and national leaders assigned to the region has resulted in storm gathering around the party ahead of the Oshakati East by-election slated for 24 August.

Swapo was planning to register 64-year-old Abner Shikongo as its candidate for the by-election.

He was elected by a district conference over the weekend, but his registration at the Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) has been postponed. On Tuesday, the chairperson of the national leaders assigned to Oshana, Veiko Nekundi, wrote a letter to Swapo secretary-general Sophia Shaningwa informing her about allegations of illegalities that happened during the vetting process and that they were being investigated.

According to Swapo's Oshana coordinator Samuel Nelongo, 163 delegates attended the district conference. Shikongo obtained 93 votes, followed Gabriel Eelu Kamwanka with 53 votes, Ndilimeke Mavulu with 13 votes and Rauha Ndilula with four votes. There was one spoilt ballot.

“Due to serious allegations in the Oshana Region, which among others include the nominations for the Oshakati East constituency by-election, we as national leaders assigned to that region resolve to urgently investigate and finalise all complaints by 11 July (today),” Nekundi wrote to Shaningwa.





“It is critical to state and inform your good office that prior to the district conference to elect a final candidate, we have communicated to the regional coordinator to not proceed with the said conference, pending the investigation of the nominations, and unfortunately such (a) call was not adhered to. However, in upholding the value and principle of the Swapo Party constitution, we cannot ignore members' complaints.”

Nekundi requested Shaningwa not to go ahead with the planned launch of the by-election campaign.

He confirmed he authored the letter that went viral on social media.

Nelongo confirmed that Nekundi wrote to Shaningwa, who in turn will delay the process of registering their candidate for the by-election.

A meeting will be held today to resolve the issue.

“It was just a misunderstanding and we will solve it today. I understand that two comrades complained about the vetting process and they complained to the national leaders assigned to the region. The national leaders did not inform me about the complaints, but they only enquired about them and I briefed them. It is also not true that they informed me not to go ahead with the conference.”

Nekundi also confirmed he authored another letter to Shaningwa on the same day in which he apologised for the miscommunication between the national leaders assigned to the region and Nelongo.

He said Nelongo was never told to stop the district conference.

With candidate registration ending on Monday morning, Nelongo said they will register their candidate on Friday, because today's meeting will not change anything.

ILENI NANDJATO