Swapo Poll Runs Smooth in Gobabis

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By Kuvee Kangueehi Gobabis Gobabis Mayor Platini Katjaoha was re-elected as Swapo District Coordinator on Saturday after a week of controversy. Katjaoha comfortably retained his position when he beat off a challenge from Beatus Tsuob, gaining 32 votes while his challenger only managed six votes. There was only one spoilt ballot. Job Munjaro was elected as the new district mobilizer while Leberituis Kalili was elected treasurer. The elections ran smoothly despite some members last week accusing their regional leaders of “favouritism and corrupt behaviours” aimed at influencing the outcome of the elections. Katjaoha was accused of sidelining some party members and for failing to inform all party members of the upcoming elections. However at the conference, there were no signs of irregularities and it went ahead as planned. During the opening of the district conference, the Swapo Regional Coordinator Festus Ueitele extended a word of gratitude to all district leaders for their commitment and hard work during the past years and ensuring a resounding victory in Omaheke and in particular Gobabis district. “I thank the district leadership for their tireless contributions during the revitalization process, which brought us to the district conference today.” Ueitele also took a swipe at Swapo members whom he accused of trying to misinform the public. “I am heavily disturbed by some of the reports and fabricated versions circulated to the media intentionally by some of the reactionary elements who aim to tarnish the image of the mighty Swapo party in the region and invent by all means efforts to sabotage the planned programmes of the party by misinforming and instigating the nation at large.” Ueitele warned that the Swapo party in the region would call the culprits to book in order to ensure discipline, respect and unity in the mighty Swapo party. “It is evident that the branch who was the co-drivers never reported unconstitutional practices during this exercise and I must confidently announce that the district office successfully completed the revitalization process as per the Swapo party constitution.” None of the national leaders assigned to the regions turned up for the elections despite the fact that it is their duty to supervise the elections. Ueitele said Hage Geingob, who is one of the national leaders assigned to the region excused himself because he was attending to an urgent private matter. No apologies were received from Bernard Esau, Clara Bohitile and Pohamba Shifeta. Meanwhile, the Otjombinde District Conference has been put on hold after Swapo leadership discovered that a lot of infighting was going on there. An investigation team headed by the National Council Chairman Asser Kapere was appointed last September to investigate squabbles which are believed to have led Swanu candidate Matti Ndjoze to beat Swapo’s Willie Hoveka in the regional elections in 2004. Other members of the investigating committee are Utoni Nujoma, Kilius Nguvauva and Lempy Lukas. A source at the Swapo Regional office at Gobabis alleges that the conflict is a spillover from the Mbanderu wrangling. The power struggle among the Mbanderu has pitted the Mbanderu Paramount Chief Munjuku Nguvauva against his former number two Erastus Kahuure. However, Hoveka in this infighting is supporting Nguvauva and does not see eye to eye with Kahuure. The rift between Hoveka and Kahuure intensified when the latter lost to Hoveka in the elections for the Swapo party candidate in Otjombinde ahead of the 2004 regional elections. The source added that it is believed that after Kahuure lost to Hoveka, he told his supporters not to vote for Hoveka. The source added that the Swapo Regional office has since been flooded with letters calling for the suspension of Kahuure. According to the source, when the investigating committee was appointed the new national leaders assigned to the region were not appointed and it appears now that the national leaders will address the issue. Ueitele refused to comment on the issue and referred all questions to the secretary general of the party. He however confirmed that although dates have been set for the district conference in the region, no date has been set for Otjombinde yet.