RUNDU- An elated regional coordinator Vincent Likoro was re-elected into office for a third term on Saturday evening after a tumultuous day of vote counting and a gracious challenge by challenger Victoria Kauma.
His victory came during the fifth Swapo Party Ordinary Regional Conference that took place in Rundu over the weekend under the theme: “Forward with the Economic Struggle.”
Regional mobiliser and information officer Eric Tjandja, who was a sole candidate, retained his position, while regional treasurer Engelbert Muyenga saw off Mathilde Shihako to retain his position.
The much-vaunted Likoro, who’s victory gives him the mandate to coordinate the party’s activities for the next five years, pledged to enhance cooperation amongst party members during his upcoming term in office.
Likoro spoke to bona fide Swapo Party members in a packed Rundu Government Hall, after narrowly escaping defeat – Likoro garnered 39 of the votes to Kauma’s 36.
“If you see us making mistakes during our term, please approach us to correct us where possible,” he pleaded. I know some people will try and hide our failures in order to use them at the next elections – just remember that you are not destroying Likoro, but the party,” he charged.
His stance on cooperation within the party was well received by those in attendance, but Likoro will face the daunting task of maintaining the strong support base that the party currently enjoys in the region.
Other challenges include rural electrification, enhancing the regional road network, access to medical and education and solutions to the high human-wildlife conflict in the region. Likoro expects no radical changes, adding that people voted for continuity.
With the ruling party currently enjoying an 84 percent support base in the region, the well-renowned “now hard work ” saying will be instantly implemented to gain total control in the region.
Likoro’s acceptance speech pivoted on “cooperation” might just be the remedy for the multiple divisions that are believed to be erupting leading up to the much-awaited year-end party congress.
Jubilant delegates at the conference were all satisfied with the voting and counting procedures – a factor that was perhaps the catalyst of the peaceful atmosphere that reigned amongst the candidates even long after the results were announced by Deputy Prime Minister Marco Hausiku, who is also the chairperson of the National Leaders Assigned to the Kavango Region.
Strategists believe the increase of female party members in the region will enhance Kauma’s chances of emerging victorious.
The swift and courteous end to the conference marked a well-organized regional conference filled with deliberations on issues pertinent within the region that need to be addressed to improve the lives of those living in abject poverty.
The conference was officially opened by the deputy prime minister Hausiku.
Minister of Environment and Tourism, Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, and Minister of Home Affairs and Immigration, Rosalia Nghidinwa, who are also some of the assigned national leaders to the region were also present at the two-day conference.
At the conference, 10 delegates were elected to join the 27 delegates already elected on the district level to attend the year-end conference, bringing the region’s total representation at the year-end congress to 37.