Swapo unity in Kavango East threatened

There are fears that the disunity in the region may disrupt the party's national congress next year.

06 May 2021 | Politics

KENYA KAMBOWE

RUNDU



While Swapo Kavango East regional coordinator

Ottilie Shinduvi says all is well, some members have described the party's regional arm as a sinking ship.

And with the party's national congress looming next year, there are fears the disunity in the region will throw a spanner into the congress works.

Namibian Sun has been reliably informed that since September 2020 when Swapo Kavango East regional executive committee (REC) members passed a motion of no confidence in Shinduvi and regional mobiliser Bonifatius Wakudumo, the situation within the party in the region has continued to deteriorate.

At the time, the duo was accused of interfering in elections at grass roots level and imposing their preferred candidates onto various structures.

“Both [Shinduvi and Wakudumo] behave in such a way as to provoke or cause division or breakdown of party unity and participate in organised factional activity that goes beyond the party's organised norms, with a view to obtain privilege in relation to their official positions or duties, thus causing an injury and serious damage to the party,” the motion of no confidence read.

Prior to the vote, the regional leadership and REC members were at each other's throats after directives from Swapo secretary-general, Sophia Shaningwa, were defied by former Swapo councillors on the Rundu town council.



At a standstill

Meanwhile, one of the party's REC members - who spoke on condition of anonymity - said since last September, no REC meetings have been organised apart from a recent sitting on 13 April which appeared to be an information session about the party's recently-held 61st birthday and the inauguration of the newly constructed regional office.

The source said the REC is yet to be informed how much was spent to construct the new office, which Swapo president Hage Geingob inaugurated recently.

In his address, Geingob did not mention the cost of the building, but in 2019, Namibian Sun reported that N$7 million had been earmarked for the project.

“If there was unity [in the party's Kavango East branch], a REC meeting would have been called - even just to reflect on the outcome of the elections - but that did not happen,” the source said. According to them, the regional leadership fears a hostile environment if such a meeting is called and answering questions on why Wakudumo continues to be party's regional mobiliser while he was appointed regional governor last year.



All is well

When contacted for comment, Shinduvi said there is no disunity in the region, adding that everything is well. “Who is saying that? It's a pure lie. Ask the district coordinator of Rundu Urban, he will tell you it is pure lies. Everything is well. This is not a church; this is a political party. People must differentiate.

“There is no time to go pray for someone, but we are here to pull in the same direction. So, when you don't want to pull in that direction, you might be left out,” she said.

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