Sheya slams SPYL for jealousy, Savimbi Syndrome

Reacting to being recalled as the youth league secretary for economic affairs, the youthful Kunene governor said he harbours no ambition to become the league secretary, as is feared by some.

03 December 2021 | Politics



Ousted Swapo Party Youth League (SPYL) secretary for economic affairs Marius Sheya says the league is gripped by jealousy and hunger for positions.

Sheya, who serves as governor of the Kunene Region, was recalled from the SPYL national executive committee (NEC) at a central committee meeting held at Grootfontein last weekend.

His rants are contained in a no-holds-barred letter to SPYL secretary Ephraim Nekongo, in which Sheya expressed disappointment in the manner the youth wing axed him from the executive committee.

Sheya, who suffered a vote of no confidence over allegations of undermining SPYL and driving a “Namibian National Student Organisation [Nanso] agenda within the youth league”, said he will not challenge the decision to recall him from his portfolio.

“It is my averment that the manner in which I was removed from the position of secretary for economic affairs of the SPYL was unprocedural, unconstitutional and grossly unfair,” he wrote.

He said there are SPYL members who are selfish and are not happy for young people appointed into positions of leadership and power.

Sheya, according to sources in the league, is a poster child of those who allegedly undermine the league by bypassing structures and dealing with the President Hage Geingob directly on matters that the league should decide on.

Savimbi Syndrome

Geingob has angered the youth league in recent years by appointing young people to Parliament from Nanso structures without consulting the SPYL.

In April this year, he appointed 22-year-old Nanso secretary-general Patience Masua as member of parliament, following the resignation of then defence minister Peter Vilho.

Prior to that, Geingob handpicked Emma Theofelus, who was 23 at the time, from relative obscurity and made her deputy minister of information.

Theofelus served as a vice-secretary in Nanso prior to her appointment.

Geingob also appointed former Nanso president Esther Simon to the presidential High-Level Panel on the Namibian Economy.

Sheya highlighted what he sees as a war waged by some members of the SPYL towards Nanso with regards to the appointments.

“The one organisation which we could have mobilised to attain this strategy, we are declaring war [on] because of Savimbi Syndrome and petty jealousy. It is staggering that we are unable to find the time to discuss mobilisation strategies for new members, but we found time to fight each other,” he said.


“Comrade secretary, I see a growing tendency of jealousy developing among ourselves – ‘if it is not me, it is not okay for another young person to be appointed, elected or given an opportunity to lead’.”

“SPYL should be the biggest champions of young people under the age of 35 getting an opportunity to sit at decision-making tables, irrespective of political ideology, economic or social standing as per our own congress resolution,” Sheya fumed.

“We, however, tend to attack our own, particularly fellow Swapo youth. This is dangerous for us and future generations as these are not only the wrong values that we are instilling, but also makes those who appoint us doubt our capacity to lead.”

Won’t appeal

Meanwhile, Sheya said despite the loopholes in the manner he was axed, he will not appeal the decision.

“I have taken a principled decision not to appeal this unprocedural and unconstitutional decision,” he said.

“Our leaders are constantly encouraging party members not to litigate against the party, but we must also not let down the party by conducting ourselves in legally indefensible ways with the sole intent of harming the dignity and reputations of others.

“In order to prevent division and to put party unity first, I will step back from the NEC that I have served with loyalty and dedication ever since I was elected to this position.”

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