Swapo issues ultimatum

06 February 2019 | Politics

It appears that Swapo secretary-general Sophia Shaningwa did not consult with the party's regional coordinators before issuing directives relating to the election and swearing-in of local authority office-bearers.

This comes after Shaningwa's office yet again sent out directives to Swapo Otjozondjupa regional coordinator Susan Hikopua and the party's Kavango East regional coordinator, Otillie Shinduvi, regarding the election and swearing-in of office-bearers at Okahandja and Rundu.

The local authorities of both towns have been in limbo since last year, as infighting escalates over Shaningwa's previous directives.

Shaningwa instructed in November last year that changes should be made to the Okahandja office-bearers, while Rundu's structure should remain the same.

The Swapo councillors have so far defied her.

According to Shaningwa's latest letters, dated 4 February, she indicated to Hikopua and Shinduvi that both matters were discussed during last Wednesday's Swapo politburo meeting, where it was decided her earlier directives should be adhered to.

She said these directives should be implemented by tomorrow.

“The swearing-in for the local authority councillors should take place not later than Thursday, 7 February 2019, as earlier directed by the office of the secretary-general,” Shaningwa wrote.

When contacted for comment, Hikopua and Shinduvi said the letters were passed on to the respective district executive committees.

“Yes, I received the letter and if you read it carefully it states that it is going through the office of the regional coordinator to the district executive. I did that and now it's up to the district executive to facilitate the process,” Shinduvi said.

Hikopua shared Shinduvi's sentiments.

She said it was her third term as a regional coordinator and receiving directives has always been commonplace, but after extensive consultation with the SG's office.

She therefore questioned how her office could now enforce decisions, if there was no prior consultation.

“The funny part of this is that the regional coordinator is not aware of what happened; how can I step in to enforce this, so that it works?”

Hikopua also questioned Shaningwa's directive pertaining to Okahandja, which will see mayor Johannes 'Congo' Hindjou being demoted to an ordinary council member.

She argued that if Hindjou is demoted to an ordinary member, this means one of the two opposition members will have to be sworn in as an additional member of the management committee.

Namibian Sun has been informed that Shaningwa allegedly was involved in a heated debate during last week's politburo meeting over the fact that her deputy SG Marco Hausiku's wife Toini is amongst the councillors defying her directive in Rundu.

Shaningwa also allegedly raised her concerns over Shinduvi's sister, Anastasia Shinduvi-Foya, defying her directive.

Shinduvi-Foya is the current chairperson of the Rundu town council's management committee.

A source said President Hage Geingob, who was present, advised that the office of the SG should visit both regions before taking a decision.

Attempts to get comment from Shaningwa proved futile.


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