By Kuvee Kangueehi
The Swapo Party Regional Conference for the Hardap Region finally came to a successful end on Sunday afternoon at Mariental despite strong protests from some party members.
This was the second time that the Hardap Region was holding its regional conference after the first conference in mid-September was postponed due to confusion and protests from delegates from Rehoboth East.
At the first conference, elections could not take place as the Rehoboth East District braught two factions both claiming to be the authentic delegates to the conference.
At the recommendation of the secretary-general of the party, Ngarikutuke Tjiriange, the Hardap regional executive was sent to Rehoboth last week to try and resolve the conflict but without success.
However, the regional conference on Sunday went ahead without delegates from Rehoboth East as the district did not hold a district conference to elect its delegates to the conference.
The party members from the Rehoboth East District accuse the newly elected regional coordinator, Nico Mungenga, and Governor, Katrina Hanse, of manipulating delegates in their district to ensure that district coordinator, Willie Swartz, does not challenge Mungenga for the position.
Some members accused Mungenga of abusing the party vehicle and using it on personal business. They claim that Mungenga has a criminal record of drinking and driving and is not fit to lead them in the region.
Officially opening the regional conference, the chairperson of national leaders assigned to the Hardap Region, Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, called on the delegates to elect a new leadership that will strive for national interest and not for personal gain.
She noted that the problems with the leadership structure in the region have affected operations of the party in the region but the problems should not be viewed as a setback but a platform to build a stronger leadership in the future.
Ndaitwah, who is also the Minister of Information and Broadcasting said if leaders are more dedicated, they will have fewer problems. She said leaders should always abide by the constitution of the party and that of the country.
She noted that the Hardap Region has been badly hit by violence against women and that all three victims at the hands of the serial killer(s) are from the Hardap Region.
“We need to focus our energies and solve these problems and combat crime against women than internal squabbles which do not help the ordinary people.”
The regional conference is the highest decision-making body of the party and is held prior to the party’s national congress.
The regional conference on Sunday elected a new executive, delegates to the national congress and compiled a list of names to be forwarded to the party’s congress for the central committee.
Mungenga was elected as regional coordinator and replaces Lucia Basson who was elected in 2002. Mungenga has been acting in the position since last year in April after Basson became a member of the National Assembly.
National Council members Barakis Namwandi and Theo Diergaardt retained their positions as secretary for information and mobilisation and treasurer respectively.
The Swapo Party regional structure consists of Mariental Urban, Mariental Rural, Rehoboth Rural, Rehoboth East, Rehoboth West and Gibeon.