Swapo processes under fire

Some Swapo cadres in Erongo are unhappy with the nomination and verification processes for candidates ahead of the upcoming local and regional authority elections.

01 October 2020 | Politics

OTIS FINCK

WALVIS BAY



According to an aggrieved group, Swapo leaders assigned to the Erongo Region baffled members in the districts by pushing through disputed candidate nominations for the regional and local authority elections.

The group allege that the leaders dispatched to address complaints in the various districts instead held closed-door discussions with the implicated nominees, leaving the complainants locked out.

This apparently resulted in outspoken Swapo youth group members at Usakos rallying behind an independent candidate, with rumours of similar moves in the Daures district.

“Of the seven Swapo districts in the Erongo Region, only one - Arandis - has not reported irregularities in the nomination and verification processes,” the group of aggrieved members allege.

The group is of the opinion that the district executive committees had no legal power under the party constitution to eliminate any nominees put forward by the respective sections.

“Their responsibility was only to verify submitted documents from nominees and forward this to the region,” they said. According to the aggrieved members, the district executive committees that were responsible for the verification process comprised of structures with expired terms of office and were therefore illegal and had no jurisdiction to preside over the verification process.

The term of office for district executive committees is three years and for the branch executive committees, two years. “Deputy minister Hafeni Ndemula is apparently on his way back and deputy minister Derick Klazen is also reported to be on his way to the Daures district accompanied by governor Neville Andre.

“The purpose of these visits is unclear and we don't know if this applies to all other districts,” said the group. Klazen said he was not at liberty to comment on processes he was not involved in.

“We are five national leaders under the leadership of minister Utoni Nujoma who were divided due to the vastness of the region. I was assigned to attend to the Walvis Bay Urban and Daures districts. I did not receive any directives to return to the districts. My mission is complete. I listened to the complaints and took a resolution on the way forward. I am on my way to the party secretary-general Sophia Shaningwa to submit the relevant documents,” he said.



Complaints

A letter dated 26 September implies that a Swapo meeting held with Ndemula on 25 September in Karibib concluded without a clear way forward.

Aggrieved members who refer to themselves as “locked-out comrades” submitted a number of complaints to the meeting for the benefit of others. According to them, the Chris Hani section was removed and excluded from the verification process by the district executive committee. This constitutes a denial of the constitutional right of party members under Chapter II, Article IV C (b).

They also allege that some of the committee members that verified the nominations had vested interests as they were also put forward as nominees. The group demanded the removal of nominees that do not reside or temporarily reside in the local authority area where they aspire to become councillors.

They also called for all reported instances where the Swapo constitution, directives or rules and procedures were violated, to be corrected.



Rules are rules

Deputy minister Ndemula said Swapo would not allow individuals to hold it hostage.

“We have structures and a constitution that guide us. Amending rules at will, will set a dangerous precedent. The district committees looked into the names and forwarded it to the regional executive for verification from where it was sent to the central committee for vetting.”

Ndemula added the meeting at Usakos was a district executive committee gathering. “It was not an open meeting. However, we allowed for complaints to be aired. Those with issues against non-performing councillors should come to the party conference and vote them out.”

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