Nujoma Enters Shebeen Clash

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By Kuvee Kangueehi WINDHOEK Swapo Party President Sam Nujoma has warned shebeen operators who recently in a march demonstrated against the Liquor Act and carried placards carrying the message “Down with Pohamba”, saying such expressions were tantamount to treason. Nujoma made the remarks on Saturday at the occasion of the Swapo Party Khomas Regional Leadership Forum. Addressing more than three hundred Swapo Khomas regional leaders, the former Head of State noted that during the past weeks Swapo Party leaders have been ridiculed and rebuked through the media by demonstrations. “One example of such reactionary slogans is the one saying ‘Down with Pohamba’.” A visibly angry Nujoma said if those who chanted such slogans were Swapo Party members, he wished to remind them that the Swapo Party would not tolerate such unscrupulous and misguided elements under its fold. “I therefore appeal to our members to respect our leaders so that we can maintain discipline in the party.” He said as leaders, they must ensure that they always promote inner party and national unity, patriotism and solidarity among themselves and the rank and file. “We must also embrace democratic norms and principles in our intentions, deeds and actions.” Nujoma spoke publicly about the dramatic 2004 Swapo Extra-ordinary Congress, which appears to have caused a rift within Swapo Party. The Founding President noted that during the historic congress, three candidates, namely, Hifikepunye Poham-ba, Nahas Angula and Hidipo Hamutenya were nominated and endorsed by the Central Committee. “At the congress, Poham-ba was elected with a two-third majority gaining 77% and he was voted by you and not by me alone. He was the popular leader.” He added that during the congress, he met Angula who informed him that he would try next time after he lost out in the first round. Referring to those who proposed Hamutenya for president, he said, “You proposed a leader and failed, try again.” The party president also denied claims that the elections were not free and fair. “The elections were declared free and fair by independent election observers headed by the Judge President Petrus Damaseb who monitored the elections.” He said two years after the historic congress there were those who still allege that the election was not free and fair. “Some of these comrades in concert with the hostile media are going around misleading the rank and file that from that extra-ordinary congress emerged two factions, one led by myself and another led by Hamutenya.” Nujoma who spoke for more than two hours added that regional party leaders in the structures such as sections, branches and districts became victims of the treacherous and reactionary propaganda. “I would like to assure you, comrades, that there are no factions in the Swapo Party and there is only one Swapo Party and those going around telling people that there are factions and it is divided are mistaken.” Nujoma called on the leaders to preach the message that the party is more united than ever and will continue to lead the people of Namibia in the struggle for economic independence. “We must not only be seen preaching democracy but we must always adhere to the outcomes of democratic elections.” The ruling party president also touched on the problems in district elections in towns such as Okahandja, Omatako, Mariental and Windhoek. “These elections were deliberately conducted to exclude sections and branches and were therefore unconstitutional and must be condemned in the strongest terms.”