A minor political upset shook Swapo’s Khomas Regional Conference on Saturday afternoon when some of the party’s big guns failed to make the shortlist for Central Committee nomination at the upcoming congress.
Delegates threw established party stalwarts overboard in favour of at least two relatively new, young and fresh faces.
Information from party insiders indicates Windhoek East constituency candidate John Walenga polled the highest number of votes (48).
Following behind Walenga came Khomas Governor Sophia Shaningua (41), Elia George Kaiyamo (30) and Alpheus Muhehua (27).
Old party hands such as Regional Councillors of Hakahana, Erastus “Kaptein” Hendjala (16), and Rachel Jacobs (11) of Soweto constituencies both did not make the shortlist.
Regional Secretary for Information and Mobilisation, Raphael Mbala, also failed to garner the necessary number of votes, securing only 23.
In all, 66 delegates made up the Regional Electoral College at the Regional Conference allowed to vote for the four Central Committee nominees from the region, with each delegate allowed to cast four votes.
The 13 districts in the region each nominated one candidate to stand for election, plus one from the regional chapter of affiliate the National Union of Namibian Workers – making 14 candidates in all.
The Swapo Central Committee consists of 57 members, with the President, Vice President, Secretary General and his Deputy automatically becoming members.
The Secretaries of the Swapo Women’s Council, Elders Council, Youth League as well as all 13 Regional Coordinators also receive automatic membership.
The party allows each region to nominate four Central Committee candidates, with those nominated by Khomas thrown into the “pot” with the rest, of which all four or none might eventually be elected.