Swapo mum on replacing ‘unifier’ Hausiku
30 August 2021 | Politics
Swapo remains tight-lipped on replacing deputy secretary-general Marco Hausiku who died last week, and has been described as a unifier by party vice-president Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah.
The 68-year-old former foreign affairs minister, who also had a spell as the country’s deputy prime minister, died after a long battle with illness, complicated by Covid-19.
He had been Swapo’s deputy secretary-general after being elected into that position at the party’s 2017 congress.
The party’s constitution is not specific on how a new deputy secretary-general must be identified. Some argue that the candidate who was the runner-up at the 2017 congress should assume office, while others said the party should hold an extraordinary congress where a qualified party member may be elected to replace the late Hausiku.
The latter idea is not likely to be pursued, as Swapo is expected to hold its routine elective congress next year – thus leaving the party with the likelihood of appointing temporary replacement. Petrina Haingura came second to Hausiku in the contest for deputy secretary-general.
“Strictly, it would be an extraordinary congress. But given that congress is next year, I doubt that that would be possible. Alternatively, they could say the person who ended second to Marco at the 2017 congress can take over, although this might be unlikely considering our current political divide in the party,” a Swapo source said.
Deliberations to take place
Nandi-Ndaitwah too confirmed that the constitution does not provide a clear way forward on the matter, but said the party has structures in place where deliberations will take place between now and the next congress.
“The party constitution is silent on what will happen in such an event. That has now fallen on us,” she said.
“However, the party constitution also has structures with different responsibilities on how to take different decisions and between the congresses, we have the central committee which is served by the politburo.
“Definitely within those organs of the party, there will be discussions that will take place and we will be able to find something in the constitution that can help us,” she said.
A well-loved comrade
Hausiku died on 26 August in a Windhoek health facility.
Nandi-Ndaitwah said the best way Namibians can honour him is by emulating how he lived.
“Comrade Marco was a unifier and a reliable comrade. He was really sincere. When he said something, you could see that it’s coming from his heart and he was one who knew what was needed for Namibia to pursue a well-targeted developmental agenda,” she said.
President Hage Geingob, who announced Hausiku’s passing, described him as a highly dependable freedom fighter and a servant of the Namibian nation.
“The fact that Comrade Hausiku died today, on Heroes Day, is not a coincidence. It is a clear marker of his outstanding contributions to our liberation struggle and the development of an independent Namibia,” the president, on whose slate Hausiku became deputy secretary-general, said last week.
According to Swapo Party School national coordinator Charles Mubita, Hausiku, who was the school’s rector, was a selfless leader who never saw positions as a means of stature, but an opportunity to serve.
“He was a good listener. He despised being glorified but rather encouraged people to be honest and fearless when expressing their opinions,” he said.
“He accommodated criticism without being offended. He welcomed suggestions and studied them before pronouncing himself.”