Nyamu Notes Inspire ‘New Party’

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By Emma Kakololo WINDHOEK Supporters of former Trade and Industry Minister Jesaya Nyamu, the latter expelled last year from the ruling Swapo Party, are believed to be among a group that is spearheading moves to form a new political party. Sources within Swapo say Nyamu’s notes have inspired some members who believe the only option left for them is to leave Swapo. This is one of the options contained in the ‘Nyamu notes’. It is believed that Nyamu has become the de facto leader and visible face of a faction of unhappy Swapo members – and he can now freely organise and lead them without fear of being disciplined by the party, while others are reportedly scared of incurring the wrath of the party. His expulsion was a direct consequence of some notes he scribbled on pieces of paper in which he weighed a number of options one of which was to split Swapo or to fight its leadership from within. Some donor-funded NGOs, prominent former parliamentarians and business leaders as well as top bureaucrats are also believed to be involved in the attempts to establish the new political party. A member of the Swapo Party Political Bureau and Central Committee, Pendukeni Iivula-Ithana, over the weekend said her party’s leadership has been following with keen interest reports about the possible formation of a new party. The aim of the new political entity is apparently to test the muscle of Swapo. A member of the Executive Committee of Swapo Party said some senior Swapo politicians are behind moves to form the new opposition movement. “In the meantime, they are pretending to be loyal to the party while they are not. It does not work like that. It is the same like being a follower of Jesus. You cannot pretend to be a follower of Jesus and go out there and tell people how good Satan is,” said another source. Nyamu was not available for comment. Nyamu was expelled from the ruling party last year after being accused of propagating division and factionalism within Swapo. Last year the Swapo Politburo resolved he was not worth being a Swapo member. He was ex-communicated from the party and barred from carrying out any activity in the name of the party. Following his expulsion, Nyamu burned the letter of his expulsion before a group of journalists. He likened his excommunication from the party to that of the Pope excommunicating Martin Luther, virtually saying that he was to Swapo what Martin Luther was to the Roman Catholic Church. “I am excommunicated? It reminds me of the Pope when he excommunicated Martin Luther. It didn’t stop reformation. This is trash,” Nyamu said. Party insiders confirmed that this was the “reformation” Nyamu meant when he swore vengeance. “We are aware of his plans. This is what he planned in his notes that led to his expulsion.” In the notes that led to his excommunication, Nyamu advanced the idea of the possibility of forming another political party. The notes, on four small pieces of paper, laid out two “options” for supporters of former Foreign Affairs Minister Hidipo Hamutenya. It is believed that Nyamu wrote the notes around the time former Namibian President Sam Nujoma dismissed Hamutenya as Foreign Affairs Minister, in 2004. Nyamu supported Hidipo Hamutenya in his quest to become the party presidential candidate at the Swapo congress of 2004. Professor Bill Lindeke, political analyst at the University of Namibia, in commenting on the excommunication of Nyamu said it was about time that Hidipo stood up and publicly defended Nyamu. Speculation is also rife that those who are behind the formation of the new party are waiting for the congress of the National Union of Namibian Workers in April before deciding on their next move. They say the proponents of the new party want to know who will carry the workers at the congress between the two factions in Swapo before making a move. “The initial date was February, but now they want to wait after the NUNW congress. They want to wait and see whether they have the union behind them, or lost the union. They want to make it look as natural as possible.” The President of Swapo, Sam Nujoma cautioned that the ruling party would not allow opportunists to disturb the peace and tranquillity that prevail in the country during a public rally at Tsumeb over the weekend. He noted that such attempts are made with a clear purpose to perpetuate economic marginalisation and under-development in Africa.