SPYL apologises for Iipinge's remarks
21 January 2021 | Politics
Swapo Party Youth League (SPYL) secretary Ephraim Nekongo has apologised for a series of remarks by the league's secretary for education, Hofni Iipinge, who said late last year that Swapo would withhold funding to opposition-controlled local authorities, to the annoyance of President Hage Geingob.
As if that was not enough, Iipinge this month wildly claimed on social media that more people were preparing to grab land in Windhoek, leading to speculation that Swapo was behind recent land grabs in Otjomuise where police had to fire rubber bullets to disperse unruly crowds.
Pouring cold water over Iipinge's threats to starve the opposition of funding for developing towns that they are in control of, President Geingob said in November he would deal with Swapo members who suggested the ruling party would financially hamstring such municipalities.
Swapo lost control of several local authorities, including Windhoek, Walvis Bay, Swakopmund, Gobabis and Keetmanshoop, in last year's local elections.
Geingob remarked: “When you are elected into an office, whether you are that party or another party, you serve all the people, so there is no way we can withhold money because the opposition is voted into that particularly area. If you hear that, bring that person to me - I will deal with them.”
Speaking to Namibian Sun's talk show 'The Evening Review' on Tuesday, Nekongo said: “All there is to say now is to apologise on behalf of the party to the people.
“Those statements were made on individual basis, but we can't say they were welcome remarks because this person [Iipinge] is a leader. We apologise for the damage that it has caused us as Namibians.
“No one can appreciate those comments. We are all human beings and sometimes when people are on social media angering each other, these things can happen.”
Ipinge declined to comment when asked whether, in hindsight, he regretted any of the remarks he had made.