Swapo threatened with court action

23 August 2019 | Politics

Five Swapo members have threatened to take the party to court if their demand for the re-run of the Otjiwarongo district renewal of mandate process is not honoured.

Swapo has been given until next week Monday to respond to the call of the five disgruntled members.

They are Carlos Joseph, Maria Kambonde, Percy Mbakera, Bennes Haimbodi and Hilde Jesaya.

The five have given party secretary-general Sophia Shaningwa an ultimatum to adhere to their demand or else face them in a court.

Lawyer Henry Shimutwikeni, who is representing the five, argued that a number of irregularities were observed by his clients during the Otjiwarongo District renewal of mandate gathering.

The allegations are levelled against regional coordinator Susan Hikopua and treasurer Patrick Xoagub, whom they accuse of interference.

“Our instructions are that the actions of the Otjozondjupa regional coordinator Susan Hikopua and regional treasurer Patrick Xoagub unduly meddled or interfered in the renewal of mandate of the Otjiwarongo district while their constitutional functions are limited to overseeing the regional conference and the functions of the regional executive as per the Swapo Party constitution,” the letter reads.

Shimutwikeni further explained how the disgruntled members wrote a letter dated 1 August to Shaningwa, to which she responded by establishing an investigation team spearheaded by Valde Ndevashiya.

The team was to investigate the concerns of the irregularities that were raised. However, Shimutwikeni claimed that the findings were not made available to his clients and that the investigation was not impartial.

“It is therefore our instruction to demand from you as we hereby do that there be a re-run of the renewal of mandate process de-novo and inform us by no later than 26 August of your commitment to the same,” the letter reads.

“In the event that you refuse to adhere to our abovementioned demand, take note that it is our instruction to approach the High Court to set aside the actions of the regional leadership as well as to declare the renewal of mandate for sections, branches, and the district invalid and to ask the court order that the Otjiwarongo district be excluded from the Swapo Party Electoral College scheduled for 2 to 3 September.”

When contacted for comment, Shaningwa would neither deny nor confirm having received the letter, saying she had “no interest in discussing the matter”.

Hikopua and Xoagub also refused to comment. They referred all queries to Shaningwa's office.

KENYA KAMBOWE

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