Familiar faces surface at IPC

03 August 2020 | Politics

OGONE TLHAGE

WINDHOEK



Familiar faces have surfaced in the newly launched Independent Patriots for Change (IPC), which held its founding national convention in Windhoek over the weekend.

The party is led by former presidential candidate Panduleni Itula, who was recently kicked out of Swapo for challenging President Hage Geingob for State House.

Brian Black, a fierce critic of the Geingob administration, is the national chairperson of the new party.

Other familiar faces include Immanuel Nashinge, also a critic of Geingob, who served as economic affairs secretary for the Swapo Party Youth League (SPYL).





In 2016, Nashige was hauled before a Swapo disciplinary hearing after congratulating Affirmative Repositioning (AR) leader Job Amupanda when he was appointed deputy dean at the University of Namibia that year. He is now in the communications, elections and strategic planning division of IPC, as second in charge.

'Marshall Ranger' Sean Naude, who stood shoulder-to-shoulder with Itula during his presidential campaign trail last year, is another notable face for IPC. He is a deputy in charge of the party's security, logistics and amenities division.

Former Namrights human rights activist Stefanus Mvula, who has been a thorn in Swapo's flesh for years, has been roped in as the party's national political mobiliser.

The party's vice-president is to be appointed at what is called the party's national council of patriots.



Council elections

The party is expected to contest this year's regional and local authority elections.

At the launch, Itula vowed that the party would exist to serve Namibians.

“We shall empower our people before we empower ourselves. We shall ensure our children get the best education, we will be there to serve our people,” he said at the party's convention,” he said.

“We are here to establish ourselves, as Independent Patriots for Change, for one simple reason, to change, this will be a movement of principled cadres, that will fight truly for the benefit of the Namibia people,” he added. According to him, his party members would work tirelessly for Namibia.

“IPC shall continue marching until our people are free and enjoy the independence of this country,” he said.

The party was formed in mind with Namibia's first cohort of freedom fighters, Itula said.

“We came from [Samuel] Maharero, we came from Ipumbu Ya Shilongo, Nehale Iya Mpingana, those are people that ceded this nation,” he said.

Itula also implored his party members to put the ideals of the party before their own.

“Remember your faith of office, it is not about Dr Itula, it is about a phenomenon for change. Take your pride, put it away, take your humanity, save the people,” he said.

No silence over Fishrot

Itula also vowed there would be no rest for Geingob, saying now that he is the head of a political party, he would ask Geingob to account for the scandal.

“We shall respect your dignity but not your silence,” Itula said.

Swapo is alleged to have benefited from Fishrot funds in 2017. Geingob has however denied these claims, saying the party had not benefited from the ill-fated funds. Remarking on the scandal, Itula asked whether Geingob was aware of the alleged looting that had occurred at embattled State-Owned Enterprise, the National Fishing Corporation of Namibia (Fishcor).

“Did you know that Bernhardt Esau (former fisheries minister) and Sackey Shanghala (former justice minister) were busy looting? Have you betrayed the trust of Namibians? Have you expressed any remorse over Fishrot as president? Is there any morality left in you? Any ethical principle?” Itula asked during the convention.

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