SPYL Congress Begins

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By Kuvee Kangueehi

Windhoek

The 4th Swapo Party Youth League (SPYL) Congress will commence today in the capital at the Windhoek Technical High School with the registration of delegates.

The Congress, which will be officially opened tomorrow morning by the party President, Dr Sam Nujoma, ends on Monday.

Under the theme – “SPYL for Unity, Development and Youth Empowerment”, the Congress is expected to review the activities of the SPYL since its last congress in 2002 and take stock of how the resolutions of that congress were implemented.

Various ministers will also make presentations in line with the theme of the congress and how the different ministries will play a role in contributing to the theme.

Discussions with ministers will start on Friday afternoon and will continue until Saturday afternoon. Elections for a new leadership will be held on Sunday.

The SPYL Central Committee has endorsed Elijah Ngurare as its sole candidate for the position of secretary of the league; hence no new nominations will be received from the delegates. Ngurare is almost guaranteed of the position.

Ngurare, who is currently the Secretary for Information and Mobilisation, is one of the vocal members of the Swapo Party. Swapo appointed Ngurare as a director on the board of its company Kalahari Holdings in 2002.

With the top position almost secured, the position to be contest fiercely will be that of deputy secretary. The contestants for the position are the acting secretary-general of the SPYL, Evelyn !Nawases, Jutta Shikomba and Veikko Nekundi.

!Nawases has risen through the ranks of the SPYL after becoming active in politics in 1992. She has been SPYL deputy secretary since 2002 and appeared at number 49 on the Swapo Party list for the National Assembly elections. She became a parliamentarian in March 2005.

In September 2005, she became acting secretary of the SPYL after Paulus Kapia was relieved of his duties over his involvement in the controversial asset management company, Avid Investment.

A party insider claims that although she is the most senior among the contestants for the position, the question everybody has been asking is what has she done.

The source claims that !Nawases has been very quiet and did very little in terms of running SPYL progammes or administrating the office. Some believe that her senior Kapia, despite the tragic flaw of the Avid Investments scam, had a huge presence in the SPYL and left a vacuum that !Nawases simply could not fill.

Kapia, through his controversial nature, made everybody take note of the SPYL whether in the party structures or at national level. Predictions are that !Nawases will end second in the three-horse race.

Shikomba, a teacher at Rehoboth, is tipped to emerge victorious. Shikomba who is originally from the Oshana Region does not have the same credentials and experience as !Nawases.

An insider claims that although Shikomba may not be the best candidate for the position, the SPYL wants new blood and a woman in the position and Shikomba is the only alternative.

The third candidate Nekundi has also risen through the ranks of the SPYL and is a popular figure in the Khomas Region. Nekundi is also very vocal and energetic but many believe he will not make it because he is male, and has only been nominated to avoid tension between Shikomba and !Nawases.

Other positions to be filled at the congress will be secretaries for Education, Economic Affairs, International Relations and Legal Affairs.

The SPYL is viewed as the transmitting belt of the party in terms of ideology and policy. The wing has always played a crucial role and many of the plan fighters during the liberation struggle were members of the SPYL.

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