Nanso appointments irk SPYL

The ruling party’s youth wing says it has become the laughing stock in the country and because party president Hage Geingob is allegedly sidelining them when it comes to appointments, however, the septuagenarian feels that only youth leaders who show potential will be considered for appointments.

26 April 2021 | Politics

JEMIMA BEUKES and MATHIAS HAUFIKU

WINDHOEK

The leadership of the Swapo Party Youth League (SPYL) is not happy with the appointment of Namibia National Students Organisation (Nanso) leaders at the alleged expense of the youth wing, saying the trend is fuelling discontent within the party ranks.

SPYL has been at the forefront saying Nanso members are being favoured and offered positions in government and party structures while SPYL members are overlooked.

The complaints emerged last week again after President Hage Geingob appointed former Nanso secretary-general Patience Masua to serve in the National Assembly as a presidential appointee.

Geingob over the weekend emphasised that youth leaders who showed potential and promise would be filtered through the system.

Apart from Masua, Geingob last year appointed Emma Theofelus to serve as a presidential appointee in parliament and subsequently elevated her to the position of deputy minister in the ministry of information and communication technology.

In 2019, Geingob appointed then Nanso president Ester Simon to serve on the High-Level Panel on the Namibian Economy, while last year the student movement’s former Nanso leader, Pendapala Taapopi, joined the party’s communication department as an information officer.

Following Masua’s appointment last week, SPYL deputy secretary Christine Haindaka was the first out of the blocks when she questioned the alleged sidelining of SPYL members in the structures.

“When you undermine your own structure. What’s the point of having structures?” she questioned.

Contacted for comment yesterday, Haindaka stood her ground and said there was a feeling of disappointment in the SPYL ranks.

“We are always at the forefront to make sure that things are done in the right way. We believe that Swapo Party is the party that groom cadres from pioneers to senior. In my own capacity, leading the young generation of the party, I believe it is high time we speak the truth. It is high time we protect the party that has brought independence,” she said.

“I am a mother of the 121 districts. I feel there are some of them that have been disappointed. You cannot tell me in the whole Namibia you can’t find capacity either a district secretary or regional secretary. Why can’t we take from our own house?” she asked.

SPYL abandoned

A SPYL national executive committee member, who chose not to be named, said: “We are very angry, all SPYL members are very angry, as the president is just appointing Nanso people.

“High-level panel is Nanso Ester, Swapo information is Nanso Pendapala Taapopi, deputy minister Emma and yesterday’s appointment is Nanso at the expense of SPYL. Who is advising the president? Is there an agenda to frustrate SPYL? Where is the grooming and continuation of the Swapo Party?” the NEC member asked.

The NEC member added that the SPYL central committee members across the country were fed up because they have become a laughing stock.

“If he wants young ones, we have pioneers who are graduates. Pioneers with political credibility, SPYL members with political credibility and expertise. Why is the leadership supporting non-political structures? SPYL and pioneers were used during campaign day and night now the leadership hand their people to give position on the expense of the youth league,” the disgruntled member said.

Geingob talks grooming

While opening the party’s new offices at Rundu on Saturday, Geingob said Swapo has always prioritised the grooming of young cadres for future leadership roles.

“The practice of promoting the youth has been continued by the Swapo Party post-independence. Youth leaders who show potential and promise are filtered through the system by being given exposure as members of parliament, deputy ministers, and governors,” he said.

According to Geingob, SPYL has always been an embryo through which the young political revolutionaries are groomed.

“This is where the young people’s political teeth are sharpened. In fact, Comrade Shinduvi will admit that those who will carry on the progressive and revolutionary agenda of Swapo via this new regional office will be our Swapo youth,” he said.

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