Swapo gets new brains

01 October 2021 | Politics

MATHIAS HAUFIKU



WINDHOEK

The Swapo Party has trimmed its think tank by nearly half and injected fresh blood comprising of parastatal bosses and senior government officials in a bid to bolster the thinking capacity of the former liberation movement.

Having faced immense onslaught from opposition parties in recent years, the party said the think tank will, amongst other things, develop a strategy on how to manage a modern mass-based political party to address the fast-changing political landscape.

The party cut short the lifespan of the previous think tank, which was supposed to serve until 2022.

According to secretary-general Sophia Shaningwa, the sudden change of composition and size of the think tank was done to align with the outcomes of the party’s 2020 introspection convention which saw it necessary to restructure the think tank.

She said this yesterday when she announced the new members of the body, who will serve until the 2022 party congress.

New members

Cut from 59 to 34 members, the research body will be chaired by Professor Andrew Niikondo, who will be deputised by Mokgatle Aukhumes. Mesag Mulunga retains his place as secretary.

The new members include several state-owned enterprise bosses such as Bisey Uirab (Namibia Airports Company), Elifas Hawala (Epandgelo Mining) and Milka Mungunda (Social Security Commission).

Other new members include Professor Frednard Gideon, Uazuva Kaumbi, Toini Sam, Wayera Hausiku, Hallo Angala, Frederika Amutse-Shigwedha, Felix Musukubili, Frans Murangi, Simon Muyenga, Ivan Pieters, Postrick Mushendami, Daniel Zaire, Gotlied Hinda, Erwin /Awarab, Bennet Kangumu and Carlo Mcleod.

Notable inclusions are Swapo veterans advocate Bience Gawanas and Vincent Likoro, who was out of the political limelight for years.

Members who were retained include Herman Shitaleni, retired major general Desderius Shilunga, Mathias Kashindi, Michael Tjivikua, Kisco Sinvula, Ndiyakupi Nghituwamata, Dr Emma Haihambo and Florette Nakusera.

During the inauguration, Shaningwa said “with the new think tank, there is no way Swapo can fail”.

Investment

“Many ministers and executive directors were removed from the think tank. The expectations are high because the party and country have invested in you to enable you to be where you are today,” she said.

According to Shaningwa, the main aim of the think tank is to serve as the research arm of the party, which guide the party in policy formulation.

“Your main mission is to provide evidence-based policy options on the political, economic, social, scientific and technological issues to Swapo Party and her government through consultancy, advocacy and operational research using appropriate technology,” she said.

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