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 Swapo City of Windhoek councillor Fransina Kahungu has withdrawn from the Swapo list.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

 

Omugameni gwomaliko a haya mukwawo mOutapi

12 hours ago | Local News

Omulumentu gwoomvula 26 okwa tulwa miipandeko sho a haya omukiintu omuniilonga pamwe naye metundji. Sho a kolele oshiningwanima shoka, Inspector Linekela Shikongo ngoka e...

Oshikungulu sha hanagula po omagumbo mEngela

12 hours ago | Local News

Oshikandjohogololo shEngela moshitopolwa shaHangwena osha dhengwa koshikungulu shoka sha hanagula po omagumbo gontumba nomiti oshowo iikombo ine mbyoka ya dhipagwa kolwaadhi mEtitatu. Sho...

Windhoek among most expensive

3 days ago - 17 January 2020 | Local News

Namibia, and in particular Windhoek, remains one of the most expensive places to live in the sub-region and outperforms both Johannesburg and Pretoria on a...

Etungo lyomuhandjo gwoskola yaMungwelume otali pu momwedhi twataalela

3 days ago - 17 January 2020 | Local News

Omukuluntuskola mosekundoskola yaMungwelume, George Nanghanda okwa koleke koshifokundaneki shoNamibian Sun, kutya etungo lyomuhandjo gwoskola ngoka tagu tungwa poskola ndjoka otagu manithwa pehulilo lyomwedhi twa taalela.Pauyelele...

'Tate a kwata uukiintu gwaandje'

3 days ago - 17 January 2020 | Local News

Pahapu dhokamwayina hoka, oya pula okanona hoka oomvula ndatu dha piti kutya omolwashike iilyo yako yopaumwene ya tiligana, na oka yamukula kutya “Tate okwa kwata...

Land grabbers defiant

4 days ago - 16 January 2020 | Local News

Suspected land grabbers at Ombili informal settlement have defied orders by the Otjiwarongo municipality to vacate an unserviced plot they have occupied since November last...

Elongo lyoshali moNamibia ondjodhi yowala

4 days ago - 16 January 2020 | Local News

Oshikako oshipe shoskola osha tameka naavali yamwe oshowo ooskola itaya vulu elongo lyoshali ndyoka lya tulwa miilonga kepangelo momvula yo 2013.Omulandu ngoka gwelongo omupe otagu...

Omukokele a kwata onkonga okamona

4 days ago - 16 January 2020 | Local News

Omukokele gwoomvula 68 okwa tulwa miipandeko mEtitano lya piti, na okwa holoka komeho yOmpangu yaMangestrata mOmaandaha moRehoboth, ta tamanekelwa oshipotha shekwatonkonga lyokamona kokakadhona koomvula hetatu.Omukokele...

A tomeke omulilo egumbo lyohonda ye

4 days ago - 16 January 2020 | Local News

Omunamimvo 24 okwa tulwa miipandeko mondoolopa yaMariental mOlyomakaya ga piti, omolwa eyonagulo lyomaliko sho kwa lopotwa a tomeke omulilo egumbo lyohonda ye nokuyonagula omakende gohauto...

A tomeke omulilo egumbo lyohonda ye

5 days ago - 15 January 2020 | Local News

NAMPA Omunamimvo 24 okwa tulwa miipandeko mondoolopa yaMariental mOlyomakaya ga piti, omolwa eyonagulo lyomaliko sho kwa lopotwa a tomeke omulilo egumbo lyohonda ye nokuyonagula omakende...

Latest News

Erindi sale in Tweya’s hands

12 hours ago | Environment

OGONE TLHAGE Minister of industrialisation Tjekero Tweya is set to facilitate a public consultative process regarding the planned sale of the Erindi...

Policy bottlenecks harm Peugeot sales

12 hours ago | Business

Only a paltry 93 vehicles – out of a targeted 1 551 - have been assembled at the Walvis Bay Peugeot plant since its launch...

Nation awaits EVM judgement with...

12 hours ago | Justice

Namibians must wait until February 6 to hear whether the Supreme Court will uphold the outcome of the November 27 general election or order a...

Let’s be consistent on flag...

12 hours ago | Opinion

The police have been directed by cabinet to see to it that the national flag is used for what is outlined in law.Cabinet secretary George...

Let's hope for a good...

12 hours ago | Sports

JESSE JACKSON KAURAISA It is no secret that the past two years were not the best for sport in the country, with...

Nghipandulwa off to Brazil

12 hours ago | Sports

One of Namibia's upcoming football referees, Samuel Nghipandula, left for Port Alegre, Brazil, on Friday to participate in the world-famous youth tournament, the 2020 IberCup,...

Afcon 2021 dates changed

12 hours ago | Sports

The Brave Warriors' Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) 2021 qualifying matches have been brought forward after the Confederation of African Football (CAF) changed the hosting...

Ambunda plots redemption

12 hours ago | Sports

Namibia's former boxing world champion Paulus 'El Jesus' Ambunda has begun plotting his way back to greatness. Ambunda says he is eager to make a...

Evidence stuck in grieving mother's...

12 hours ago | Justice

A N$3 million wrongful death lawsuit against the police stemming from the killing of a child who was struck by a stray bullet on Valentine's...

Load More