By Kuvee Kangueehi
The incumbent Secretary of the Swapo Party Elders Council (SPEC) Kanana Hishoono will be challenged by John Otto Nankudhu for the post at the SPEC 4th Ordinary Congress.
The congress will take place at the weekend.
Hishoono, who has been at the helm since 1992, is expected to face a strong challenge from Nankudhu who was the first Commander of the People’s Liberation Army of Namibia, known as PLAN, in 1966 when he fired the first bullet to engage the South African colonial racist army at Omugulu-goombashe in northern Namibia.
Nankudhu, who served a long prison term at the notorious Robben Island prison for 20 years, is now a Councillor for the Windhoek City Council.
Trained at Kongwa in Tanzania, together with his comrades, Nankudhu marched on foot from Kongwa to the then South West Africa.
At Omugulu-goombashe, north central Namibia, they attacked the occupying army. Thereafter many people died fighting for Namibia’s freedom.
Hishoono has been at the helm of the SPEC since 1992 and has been political advisor at State House since 1997.
He first became politically active while working as a migrant labourer at a South African gold mine owned by Durban Roodeport Deep in the late 1950s.
He corresponded with Andimba Toivo ya Toivo who was mobilizing Namibian workers to join the Ovamboland People’s Organization (OPO) in Cape Town.
On his return to Namibia, Hishoono became a founding member of Swapo in April 1960.
In 1961, he started working at Tsumeb Corporation Limited copper mine and became the Secretary of the Swapo Branch at Tsumeb.
He was sentenced to four months in prison in 1964 after the police broke up a public meeting at Tsumeb at which Nathaniel Maxuilili was due to speak.
Hishoono as the Secretary of SPEC has been a member of the Central Committee of the Swapo Party and was re-elected to the post of Secretary at SPEC congresses in 1997 and 2002.
Addressing a press conference on Friday, Hishoono said since independence, the SPEC had managed to mobilize and organize elders in all thirteen regions of the country and rallied them firmly behind the Swapo Party as members of SPEC.
The 4th Congress is expected to focus on strengthening the administrative, operational and organizational aspects, as well as mobilization, of the SPEC.
The theme of this year’s SPEC congress will be “Elders for Peace, Unity and Social Progress”.
Hishoono said the congress is taking place at a time when peace, political stability and the democratic process in the country are being threatened by a maliciously fabricated propaganda campaign against the Swapo Party and its leaders by Phil Ya Nangoloh and his cohorts of the NSHR.
The congress will discuss and deliberate on issues of national interest and concern, the strengthening and consolidation of national unity, especially within the rank and file of SPEC and the mother body, Swapo Party.
The congress will pay special attention to the plight, challenges and problems facing senior citizens throughout the country.
The Secretary further noted that the congress would also reflect on how the resolutions and decisions of the previous congress were implemented.