WINDHOEK – Swapo Party Vice President Dr Hage Geingob says there is a need for the party to convene a consultative meeting to see how best to implement the 50/50 representation in the national general elections slated for November this year.
Geingob said this as he was responding to questions at a meeting in Windhoek where he addressed the party’s Khomas regional leadership on Saturday morning. “I propose that we hold a consultative meeting before we make blunders and destroy the party. We are just shouting 50/50, but we did not think carefully on how we will implement it,” he said. He said the resolution must be implemented without creating division in the party. According to Geingob implementing the ‘Zebra-style list’ would disadvantage male cadres of the party. “We cannot have a list of women and one of men and take one from each list until we get the required number. If we do that, you will have a situation where the lady topping the female list makes it while the man at position 10 on the male list does not make it even if he has more votes than the lady topping the female list. This will not work, the ones with the most votes must make the nod,” Geingob said. “There is a misunderstanding with the 50/50 concept, because some women think they will just walk into positions. I can assure you that it is not the case, women must fight and sacrifice as much as the men,” said the Prime Minister. He also expressed fears that using the zebra style system might annoy males in the party. “By doing so, you are pleasing the women and annoying the men. Therefore everyone, male or female, must be democratically elected, no one must be wheel-barrowed into positions,” he said.
During its 5th Ordinary Congress held in 2012, the ruling party committed itself to the 50/50 representation of men and women in all the party structures.
Calls for death
With the country experiencing an upsurge of violence committed by men against women, there have been calls from the public, as well as some leaders across the political spectrum, urging government to reintroduce the death penalty. Geingob described call for the reintroduction of the death penalty as ‘reactionary’. “You have been praising our constitution, saying it is doing well, but now you want the death penalty. It (death penalty) will not deter people from committing crimes, therefore let us look for other ways to punish offenders,” said Geingob. He labelled men who commit violence against women as ‘sick cowards’, who are not worthy to be called men. “Our communities must isolate these crazy men,” he said.
By Mathias Haufiku