Shaningwa claims ignorance over Wakudumo attack

18 January 2021 | Politics

Kenya Kambowe



RUNDU

While Swapo has over the years acknowledged the support by the Chinese during the liberation struggle, the ruling party has been silent on a matter involving one of its central committee members, Kavango East regional governor Bonifatius Wakudumo, who has been under attack recently for appointing a Chinese national as one of his advisors.

In December, Wakudumo appointed Charlie Min Xie as one of 20 advisors on development issues; however, he quickly had to revoke the decision following pressure from locals, including Swapo members.

Namibian Sun is aware of Swapo members - some in the party structures - who were against Wakudumo’s decision, and these also form part of a group calling for him to either step down voluntarily or be dismissed by President Hage Geingob.

So far, only the Chinese embassy in Namibia has reacted to the issue, saying the treatment of Xie - who acquired Namibian citizenship 15 years ago -constitutes xenophobia and should not be condoned.

Last Wednesday, a group of Kavango East residents marched the streets of Rundu, expressing their support for Wakudumo.

Some, who claimed to represent the Swapo women’s council, said they don’t understand why some party members would be amongst those attacking the regional governor.

They further argued that such members should be held accountable.

‘Long-standing relationship’

“Swapo and China have a long-standing existing relationship that dates back to the years of the liberation struggle. During the liberation struggle, China provided weapons, medicine, education, military training, food and clothes to Swapo and its military wing PLAN,” they said.

“It is the people’s Republic of China that helped us during our liberation struggle for us to be independent and they continue to provide us with the necessary assistance towards economic development and prosperity in our region and Namibia as a whole.

“It does not sit well with us to hear that some Swapo members have a problem with the Swapo government having a relationship with China,” they said.

‘No idea’

Meanwhile, when contacted for comment, Swapo secretary-general Sophia Shaningwa didn’t want to hear about the issue, briefly saying that she knows nothing about it before ending the call.

“I have no idea of what you are talking about, I am sorry,” Shaningwa said.

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