Successful Congress Full of Intrigue

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By Kuvee Kangueehi Rundu The Swapo Party Regional Coordinator of Kavango Region, Vincent Likoro, says the Swapo Party Women’s Council (SPWC) 5th Congress, which ended on Monday in Rundu, has set a good example for other party wings to follow. Likoro said the SPWC Congress was the first congress of the party to take place after the historic Swapo Extraordinary Congress in 2004 and that it needed to be successful. The regional coordinator noted that after the 2004 Extraordinary Congress, which elected Hifikepunye Pohamba as the party’s presidential candidate, the ruling party faced serious challenges such as disunity and infighting. “The SPWC had the responsibility to make this congress a success.” He said some of the SPWC delegates to the congress are members of the Swapo Party Elders Council (SPEC) and the Swapo Party Youth League (SPYL) and will take the experience they gained from this congress to the upcoming congresses of the two wings. The SPEC is expected to hold its congress next year in February, while the SPYL congress, where a fierce contest is expected, will take place in May. The former youth leader said that if both the SPEC and SPYL congresses are successful, this would ultimately lead to a successful Swapo Party Congress in August 2007. Likoro added it is however not a foregone conclusion that the voting patterns of the SPEC and SPWC will be the same as the SPWC as many factors such as the candidates’ region where the election is held, play a role. The 5th SPWC Congress, which elected Petrina Haingura as its new secretary, was also characterized by some controversy in its build-up to the extent that the president of the party Sam Nujoma called a meeting with the top party leadership on the eve of the congress. New Era has learned that Nujoma last week Thursday called a meeting with the Secretary General of Swapo Ngarikutuke Tjiriange, the deputy SG John Pandeni and Iipinge to address problems emanating from two regions. Nujoma allegedly cited squabbles reported in the Karas and Omaheke regions. Swapo members in Karas accused the regional coordinator Hilma Nicanor of sideling some members in the region and pushing for members of a specific ethnic group to be delegates to the congress. In the Omaheke Region a group of Swapo women wrote a letter to the party president complaining about a district conference that was held to elect delegates to the congress. The Gobabis district in fact boycotted the conference and thus Omaheke sent a small delegation to the congress. Iipinge reportedly stated that Swapo should address the problems in the regions. Meanwhile, the Swapo Politburo was expected to meet last night to plan for the upcoming Central Committee meeting scheduled for Saturday. Another agenda item that is expected to be discussed at the Central Committee meeting is the expulsion of Jesaya Nyamu. The issue was referred to the Central Committee at the last Politburo meeting. It is not clear yet when the party will meet to nominate presidential candidates for next year’s congress.