Mighty Swapo buckles

Swapo members affected by of Article 47 have resigned en masse, so they can stand as party MP candidates for the 27 November National Assembly elections.

18 October 2019 | Local News

A number of high-profile members of Swapo, including National Council chairperson Margaret Mensah-Williams, yesterday tendered their resignations with their respective employers, in order to comply with Article 47 of the Namibian Constitution.



Another senior member that resigned was Keetmanshoop Urban constituency Hilma Nicanor, who is also the deputy minister responsible for veteran affairs.

She has quit both positions, Swapo confirmed.

Namibian Sun understands her deputy minister position will not be filled in the meantime.

Digging in its heels, the Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) this week said it would not compromise the provisions of Article 47, which is a constitutional requirement.

It requires that certain candidates resign from their jobs upon acceptance of candidacy for the National Assembly elections.

Swapo's executive director Austin Samupwa confirmed yesterday that the party, which last week led other parties in protest against the ECN's stance, had resolved to abide by the constitution of the country by having its affected members resign.

Also tendering their resignations yesterday were Walvis Bay constituency councillor Hafeni Ndemula, Oshikuku constituency councillor Modestus Amutse, Rundu town councillor Verna Sinimbo and ministry of education official Veno Kauaria. All of them are among the top 50 on Swapo's candidate list for the National Assembly. Swapo City of Windhoek councillor Fransina Kahungu has withdrawn from the Swapo list.

Article 47 dictates that members of the National Council, local and regional councils must resign if they accept nomination for the National Assembly. Remunerated civil servants must also resign, according to law.

With these resignations, the country may face a spate of by-elections in constituencies vacated by councillors.

The ECN yesterday told Namibian Sun it spends an average of N$1.4 million on each by-election.

The commission invited a flack with its new firm stance after questions were posed about why this constitutional requirement was never implemented religiously in the past.

For example, former permanent secretary Lidwina Shapwa did not resign in 2014 after accepting a nomination for parliament, as well as former Windhoek mayor Agnes Kafula, among others.

Commenting on the matter yesterday, Shapwa said: “The ECN did not ask me to resign immediately. After the elections took place and I saw the number of seats Swapo got and I was sure that I would have a seat in parliament, I resigned from my position.”

ECN chief electoral officer Theo Mujoro said the new firm stance is to ensure the commission does not continue breaking the law.

“My view is that no precedent was set. It may have been an omission on the part of the ECN, but we cannot continue breaching the law. The ECN is just doing its job,” he told Namibian Sun.

Lawyer Norman Tjombe, commenting on the interpretation of Article 47, said the ECN's understanding of this law is spot on.

“Of course it appears to be unfair and seems not to be apparent. The reason for such a prohibition only on some candidates but not others [is not clear]. For instance, the prohibition does not apply to sitting governors or cabinet ministers, although they occupy far more significant public offices than a civil servant, at say a government school.”

The Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) yesterday dug in its heels, saying none of its members will resign. The party has submitted its list unchanged, and was in consultation with its lawyers late yesterday for a possible court challenge.



Chaos at parliament

Confusion reigned in parliament, as opposition MPs walked out yesterday. This came amid uncertainty over whether the Article 47 constitutional requirement would be discussed. It later emerged that finance minister Calle Schlettwein simply wanted to give notice that he would be delivering his midterm budget speech next Tuesday.

There was also a screaming match between PDM leader McHenry Venaani and deputy National Assembly speaker Loide Kasingo, with the opposition politician saying Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila has no right to recall MPs to return to parliament while they were on recess. According to him that right lies solely with the head of state and speaker.

JEMIMA BEUKES

Similar News

 

Rundu's N$45m 'water rot'

7 hours ago | Local News

Kenya Kambowe RUNDU Payment defaulters in Rundu's 11 suburbs owe the council a combined N$45 million for water, with the highest defaulter...

Coastal residents demand lockdown end

7 hours ago | Local News

LEANDREA LOUW WALVIS BAY Walvis Bay residents yesterday staged a protest against the ongoing...

Namibian students in China still in lockdown

7 hours ago | Local News

STAFF REPORTER BEIJING Namibian and other international students in China are baffled about being kept in strict lockdown although...

Aaniilonga yuundjolowele 39 ya monika oCovid-19

1 day - 06 August 2020 | Local News

JEMIMA BEUKESOVENDUKAMomaandaha nEtiyali aaniilonga yahamano muundjolowele oya monika ombuto.Onkalo ndjoka oya lopotwa molopota yomasiku 31 gaJuli moka mwa hololwa kutya ompumbwe yonzo dhopauntu miitopolwa oyimwe...

A dhipagwa omolwa ococaine niitapa

1 day - 06 August 2020 | Local News

GOBABISNAMPAOkamati koomvula 14 okwa lopotwa ka dhipaga omumati gwoomvula 18 konima sho e mu tsu nombele pethimbo lyolugodhi moGobabis moshitopolwa shaMaheke mOlyomakaya lwopotundi...

ACC’s Noa reacts to flurry of changes

2 days ago - 05 August 2020 | Local News

JEMIMA BEUKES WINDHOEKAnti-corruption commission (ACC) director-general Paulus Noa says the law prohibits the...

Mupini youth refuse to pay ‘witchcraft’ slur fines

2 days ago - 05 August 2020 | Local News

Kenya Kambowe MUPINIEleven youth, who in June were fined two cows or N$4 000 each by the Mbunza Traditional Authority (MTA)...

Erongo travel permits still on the table

2 days ago - 05 August 2020 | Local News

Adolf Kaure SWAKOPMUNDA notice displayed in one of the Swakopmund police station’s windows was removed on Saturday after it created uproar amongst the town’s residents.On...

Kwa totwa ongundu yoIPC

3 days ago - 04 August 2020 | Local News

OGONE TLHAGE OVENDUKAOngundu ndjoka otayi kwatelwa komeho kwaangoka a li a kutha ombinga methigathano lyehogololo lyuupresidende, Omundohotola Panduleni Itula, ngoka a tidhwa mongundu...

Oyendji taya kanitha iilonga

3 days ago - 04 August 2020 | Local News

OGONE TLHAGEOVENDUKASha landula sho kwa pitithwa omiyalu dhina sha nondjele yokwaahena iilonga metata lyotango lyomvula, aanongononi oya holola kutya aantu oyendji miikondo ya yooloka ngaashi...

Latest News

Border bribery syndicate exposed

7 hours ago | Crime

OGONE TLHAGE WINDHOEK Namibian authorities have widened their investigation into the case of Immanuel David, who allegedly paid bribes to various individuals so...

Shame on Namibian football ‘gods’

7 hours ago | Opinion

Like the body of a disgraced African dictator awaiting official communication on what is to be done with it, Namibian football has been lying in...

Fishrot's De Klerk washes dirty...

7 hours ago | Justice

RONELLE RADEMEYER WINDHOEK Marén de Klerk, the lawyer who left Namibia amid allegations that millions of dollars from the Fishrot bribery scandal had passed...

She’s got style

7 hours ago | Art and Entertainment

MICHAEL KAYUNDE WINDHOEK Launched in 2018, stylist Yverischka Ivertor Bok is happy with the pace at which her brand,...

10th NAMAs go virtual

7 hours ago | Art and Entertainment

STAFF REPORTER WINDHOEK The Namibian Annual Music Awards executive committee recently announced that the 10th NAMAs will be delivered online. The event will...

Keeping it real

7 hours ago | Art and Entertainment

Awards season is finally in full swing, and this is testament to the stories carried in this edition.After being in suspense for a few months,...

Boy accused of murder granted...

7 hours ago | Justice

NAMPAGOBABISA 14-year-old boy who allegedly stabbed an 18-year-old to death at the Kanaan A informal settlement in Gobabis this past Saturday has been granted bail...

Pangolin traffickers nabbed

7 hours ago | Crime

ELLANIE SMITWINDHOEKIn the first cooperation between US law enforcement and the Namibian police, four suspected pangolin traffickers were recently arrested in Namibia.According to a statement...

Germany should fund Namibia's land...

7 hours ago | Columns

Henning Melber Nearly 30 years after starting land reform, Namibia's distribution of land ownership is still skewed. This is a colonial legacy. It is high...

Load More