APP presidency succession talks kick off

01 December 2021 | Politics

Kenya Kambowe



RUNDU

With the All People’s Party (APP) national bureau expected to sit on 11 December to decide who will lead the party following the death of its leader, Ignatius Shixwameni, Namibian Sun has established that underground campaigns have already commenced.

The names of three party members have been making the rounds: Secretary-general Vincent Kanyetu, former Rundu councillor Mathews Wakudumo and Agapitus Hausiku, who heads a number of organisations and happens to be the late Shixwameni’s nephew.

The APP constitution has, so far, kept mum on the presidency succession.

In fact, in 2019, ahead of that year’s November national presidential elections, Shixwameni was challenged for the presidency at an August congress by Tangy Mike Tshilongo, who had just joined the party several months before.

It seems the party’s constitution allows any member who feels they can lead to campaign for the top position.

Candidates

Those throwing their weight behind Kanyetu say he is a very influential person by nature and has a lot of experience in the Namibian political landscape. He is also known for speaking out on national issues.

As for Hausiku, an APP member at Shixwameni’s funeral passionately shared that he has been influential to programmes since the party’s formation. It is also said that because he was groomed by the late Shixwameni, he probably shares the same vision and ideology as the former party president.

Meanwhile, Wakudomo’s supporters mentioned the fact that he is a founding member of APP and has a vast experience in the country’s political landscape.

News to me

When contacted for comment, Kanyetu said it is news to him that his name is making the rounds as a candidate to lead the party.

He said the party - through the national bureau - will decide the way forward.

“This is not the way things are done. The party, through its various structures, will have to decide over that matter.”

Wakudumo said he will accept the position if the party members decide.

He, however, indicated that it’s not his ambition to take over the party at the moment, as he has pastoral duties and is also employed.

“I am happy with the current situation. However, if people want me to lead them, what can I do?”

Wakudumo added that he hopes whoever takes over the presidency will have the interest of the people at heart, and not that of their own stomach.

Hausiku told Namibian Sun that there had been a call for him to lead the party while his uncle was still alive, and the calls have now been renewed.

He added that he needs to consult his family before he makes a decision as there are those advising him to park his political career and focus on his education.

It will be a tough decision, Hausiku said, as he heads a number of organisations which he will not be able to head once he takes on the party presidency.

As for who will assume the now vacant APP seat in the National Assembly, Maria Kamutali is next on the party list.

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