U-turn on Swapo court action

30 August 2019 | Politics

The five Swapo members who last week threatened to take the ruling party to court over alleged irregularities during the Otjiwarongo district conference have made a dramatic U-turn.

Namibian Sun has been reliably been informed that the five Swapo members have reached a compromise with the party following Sunday's central committee meeting, which took place at Otjiwarongo.

They five, Carlos Joseph, Maria Kambonde, Percy Mbakera, Bennes Haimbodi and Hilde Jesaya, last week through their lawyer Henry Shimutwikeni had given Swapo until this past Monday to respond to their demand or else face them in a court of law. When contacted for comment, Mbakera referred all questions to Haimbodi, who refused to comment on the matter.

“No comment, busy with internal (in-house) matters,” Haimbodi responded in a text message.

The initial letter by the five was written to Swapo secretary-general Sophia Shaningwa who was given the ultimatum to adhere to their demand or else face them in court.

When contacted for comment, Shaningwa said she was not aware of the reversal of their decision, asking for proof of any document that states that the five members had made a U-turn.

“The letter which was written to me was official and not a rumour, now where is the U-turn thing?” Shaningwa argued.

The five in their letter of demand argued that a number of irregularities were observed by during the Otjiwarongo district gathering.

The allegations were 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 Walde Ndevashiya.

The team was tasked to probe the concerns of 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.

KENYA KAMBOWE

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