Swapo’s old warhorses bite the dust

Early results of the Swapo primaries ahead of the November elections have seen the youth and women wrestling candidacies away from the ageing incumbents.

30 September 2020 | Politics

OGONE TLHAGE

WINDHOEK

An increase in youth appetite for political office has seen some of the old guard in the ruling party Swapo missing out on nomination for positions of regional and local authority councillors ahead of the November elections.

Many incumbent councillors have failed to regain their status as party candidates for the upcoming elections after their fellow comrades, young and old, outmuscled them to the peripheries.

In the //Karas Region, for example, Lüderitz mayor Susan Ndjaleka has emerged as the party’s preferred candidate for !Nami-#Nus constituency, replacing incumbent Reverend Jan Scholtz.

Former councillor of Berseba constituency John Boois will be replaced by Steven Sensus as party candidate for that position, while Taimi Kanyemba replaces Paulus Ephraim in the Karasburg West constituency.

These developments have been confirmed by the Swapo regional coordinator for //Karas, Matheus Mumbala.

Although primaries in Khomas Region are not completed, those that are done so far show that only one incumbent regional councillor was re-elected to stand in the November elections.

New faces

In the Windhoek Rural Constituency, Groot Aub resident John Elago replaces incumbent Penina Ita.

Swapo Party Youth League (SPYL) member Emma Muteka won the intra-party election held this week for the Windhoek West constituency candidacy, replacing incumbent Georg Trepper, who did not stand for re-election.

Aili Venonya emerged as the party’s choice for the Moses Garoeb constituency. It is not known if incumbent David Martin sought re-election.

Commenting on the list of candidates that had primarily emerged, the ruling party’s coordinator for the Khomas Region, Elliot Mbako, said not all constituencies have held their elections yet.

In the Omaheke Region, Paki Pakarae was elected as the party’s candidate for the Epukiro constituency, for which Cornelius Kanguatjivi is currently the councillor.

For Otjinene constituency, for which Nudo’s Erwin Katjizeu is the councillor, Swapo has elected Edmund Meroro as its candidate.

In the Oshikoto Region, the existing councillors in the Omuthiya and Eengodi districts have retained their positions, regional coordinator Armas Amukwiyu said.

“We have started with the process of the district elections in the other parts of the region,” he said on the party’s hopefuls for the November elections.

Nampa reported that Ongwediva Constituency councillor Andreas Utoni has been retained as party candidate for November.

In the Omusati Region, Swapo district coordinator Sacky Kayone said the existing councillors in Otamanzi, Okahao and Oshikuku districts had retained their positions.

New faces however emerged in the Etayi, Ogongo, Onesi, Elim and Outapi constituencies.

“We are still waiting for the rest such as Anamulenge and Ruacana,” Kayone said.

In the Erongo Region, Kleopas Johannes, a Swapo member based at Usakos, said the party is faced by a challenge of young cadres having indicated their interest in standing for positions in the upcoming elections.

He said not all branches had completed the renewal of mandates which had expired in 2019.

Incompetence

“People do not want the old councillors to stand again due to the non-delivery of services.”

According to Johannes, the incompetence of party branches also resulted in not empowering young people to meet stipulated party requirements.

“Young people are told to produce their membership cards to prove they belong to the party for five years. However, no cards were issued and such persons cannot qualify as per the party rules. This will result in Swapo losing more youth votes.”

He said the only option for these young people was to go forward as independent candidates or join parties willing to support them. – Additional reporting by Otis Finck

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