Swapo electoral college: SPYL wants 15% youth quota
Swapo Party Youth League (SPYL) secretary Ephraim Nekongo made this call during the youth wing’s central committee meeting that took place in Oshakati on Friday. Swapo vice-president Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah and secretary general Sophia Shaningwa also attended the proceedings.
The electoral college is a Swapo Party indaba, normally held weeks before the polls, to decide on the list of 96 members who will stand as candidates of the party in the National Assembly.
"The youth are ready for parliament and ministerial positions. We want to be ministers. Bear with us. And give us an opportunity,” he said to a big round of applause.
The call comes at a time when SPYL members are finding it hard to make it to parliament and other senior government positions. Those who managed to make it to parliament as well as land ministerial positions have done so mainly by entering through the backdoor as presidential appointees.
SPYL also expressed unhappiness not so long ago after several youth leaders from the Namibia National Students Organisation (Nanso) were catapulted to lucrative positions in government at the expense of SPYL leaders.
The party’s young Turks feel that the introduction of a youth quota is the only chance for them to take up leadership positions and have an opportunity to be considered for ministerial positions.
Nekongo said the wisdom gained over the years by Nandi-Ndaitwah, coupled with the energy of the youth, can take Namibia to greater heights.
Addressing Nandi-Ndaitwah, he said: “There have been talks about your age. Don’t be intimidated. Your age brings wisdom. When you get there, surround yourself with young people so that you can make sure that your government will be able to deliver on the expectations. We are fast, and we can run. You can direct us,” he said.
'Loved by the people'
The SPYL CC meeting was held a day before Nandi-Ndaitwah addressed a packed rally at the town.
She said Namibians love the ruling party so much that since they embarked on the countrywide rallies just under a year ago, about 1 000 party members who had left to join other political formations have since returned.
This number, Nandi-Ndaitwah said, only constitutes those who made their return to the “mighty Swapo Party” at the rally venues and does not include those who continue to register for membership at the party’s offices.
“People are coming back to the Swapo Party, which demonstrates that Swapo is loved by the people. Come back home. We will always welcome each and every one who wishes to return to the party,” she said.
Nandi-Ndaitwah said there is no better indicator of sound governance than strengthened engagement.
She said the rallies held over the past nine months were supplemented by roundtables, allowing members to discuss issues of national interest, including bread-and-butter issues.
“Each region deliberated on a matter that pertains to it and the comrades contemplated tailor-made solutions. All the reports will be made available to the think tank to take them forward,” Nandi-Ndaitwah said.
She added that for weeks, they have covered every corner of the country, and the results have amazed her.
“There are those who mocked us. When we chose the Sam Nujoma Stadium for the Khomas rally, there were doubts. To their dismay, the rally was packed. The pictorial evidence vindicates us. There is a saying that 'nothing good comes easy'. When you believe in something, you must work for it to be realised,” Nandi-Ndaitwah said.
Swapo Party regional coordinator Werner Iita, who delivered the welcoming remarks, reiterated that Nandi-Ndaitwah is the party’s sole authentic presidential candidate for 2024 and underlined Swapo's full confidence in her leadership.
“Politically, Oshana is stable," he said, adding: "Oshana is ready to face politically-negative waves vigorously. We have faith in your leadership, and we are fully behind you."