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DON’T BE NASTY: Swapo veteran Pendukeni Iivula-Ithana.
PHOTO: FILE
DON’T BE NASTY: Swapo veteran Pendukeni Iivula-Ithana. PHOTO: FILE

Iivula-Ithana warns winners against vindictive politics

Kenya Kambowe
Swapo Party veteran Pendukeni Iivula-Ithana has called upon the victors at next week’s elective congress not to terrorise their challengers afterwards.

She is among those who suffered persistent humiliation and alienation after her slate, Team Swapo, lost at the 2017 congress.

Speaking to Namibian Sun yesterday, Iivula-Ithana said vindictive retaliation against those who have lost at congress is not in the interest of the party.

For the past five years, Iivula-Ithana, who also served as party secretary-general, has been on the periphery of Swapo politics, and was kicked out of Cabinet by President Hage Geingob, whose slate won in 2017.

A delegate to the congress on a women’s council ticket, she has called upon the victors to avoid a repeat of the last five years when those who lost were deliberately isolated.

‘We are Swapo’

“From my personal experience, I wouldn’t wish how I was treated on anyone. It is not something that should not be repeated in a party where all of us belong. I don’t want any other person to be treated the way I was treated,” she said.

“When we campaign for positions, we are Swapo and we don’t become anything else, hence we should be able to work together after the congress and grow the party.”

Iivula-Ithana said the impression created during the 2017 elective congress was that those who aren’t successful are pushed out of the party.

She further alleged that a senior Swapo member, whom she admired, made a remark that they should ‘go create their own party’.

“I can never do that, hence I will not want someone to do that to me,” she said.

Boycotts

Meanwhile, despite appreciating the guidelines and rules imposed on the current campaigns for the top four positions in the party, Iivula-Ithana said there were incidents of abuse of power by incumbents vying to retain their positions.

The veteran politician made reference to campaigns that commenced before the campaign period was announced as well as the manner in which regional visits were conducted.

“We could see that some candidates had tagged along non-delegates to meetings who would only listen to certain candidates and not to others, which was not fair.

“This required the candidates who were experiencing the boycotts to have strong psychological strength to be able to present to those who wanted to listen. It was a mess,” she said.

At the ballot

Not willing to reveal which candidates she supports for congress next week, Iivula-Ithana said she attended a number of the meetings where candidates were campaigning and she has taken note of who she will vote for.

As far as candidate presentations are concerned, she said she would score them all 60%, as they failed to convince her on how they will ensure Swapo regains its support and attract non-Swapo members to the party.

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Namibian Sun 2022-11-27

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