By Kuvee Kangueehi WINDHOEK Gideon Kavari was elected as the new Swapo District Coordinator of the Steinhausen constituency on Sunday. Kavari, who has been a volunteer at the councillor’s office for the past two years, got 38 votes while his challengers Frans Murangi and Pio Nganate only managed ten and nine votes respectively. Kavari replaces the Deputy Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources, Kilius Nguvauva, who has been at the helm of the constituency since 1998. Nguvauva, who is also regional councillor of the Steinhausen constituency, did not contest the elections. Kavari’s victory came as a surprise to many observers in the region as they expected Murangi or Nganate to beat him. Nganate, the former mayor of Gobabis, is a well-known personality in the Omaheke Region and has been active in politics there. Nganate who is very articulate is now stationed in Witvlei and since he indicated that he would contest the district coordinator position, he was widely regarded as the favourite. Murangi, who is a local businessman, was viewed also as a strong contender ahead of the elections. Murangi owns a shop in the area and is stationed at one of the biggest centres there. Some observes of the elections claim that Kavari had the backing of Nguvauva and that ensured his victory. Kavari as a volunteer also assisted with handing out drought relief food in the area and had everyday contact with the grassroots people. Emma Mbako was elected as the treasurer while Rafeal Mokaleng was elected as the mobilizer. Fifty-seven delegates attended the district conference from the nine branches and only one delegate was absent. The Swapo Regional Coordinator Festus Ueitele, Epukiro Regional Councillor Brave Tjizera and Governor Laura McLeod all attended the proceedings as observers. The newly elected members will serve a term of three years. The elections in Steinhausen follow the elections that took place on Saturday in Gobabis. Similar elections are expected to take place at Aminuis, Epukiro and Otjinene soon. However, the Swapo district elections in the Otjombinde constituency have been put on hold as there are reported squabbles in the area.
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