By John Ekongo
Sources say the scramble for the seat of Acting Secretary General of the National Youth Council (NYC) has started in earnest.
This follows the impending departure of Juliet Kavetuna, who will be joining legislators at the Tintenpalast soon. She will be sworn in today.
Sources say candidates for the post of Secretary General are a matter of speculation although the names of two likely candidates have come up. A further two have appeared from within the ranks.
Julius Namoloh and Mandela Kapere are said to be the candidates eyeing the post. However, Veiko Nekundi and Natangwe Ithete are also rumoured to have joined the fray. Not much is known about Ithete, whilst Nekundi currently serves as the Secretary of Economic Affairs of the Swapo Party Youth League.
The names of two more outside candidates have surfaced. They are Youth Officer Sidney Ganeb and Muesee Kazapua. But technically, the availability of these two is nothing more than a strategy to create uncertainty among the candidates, according to a source.
Ganeb is currently on study leave with the University of the Western Cape in Bellville, South Africa, whilst Kazapua is employed by the NYC as Head of its Network Exchange and Foreign Relations.
Although it appears Mandela’s candidacy is a done deal, it is relatively far from over. Well-placed sources indicate that there is a “practice of diverse leadership”.
No official announcements were made about the availability of each candidate for the hot seat, with all candidates mum on the issue.
When approached for comment, the outgoing SG Kavetuna stressed that she was not aware of the availability of any of the candidates. She however said procedurally it all depends on the National Executive Council (NEC) to nominate, endorse or forward candidate/s’ names.
The NEC will be holding a meeting on May 10. The meeting is expected to recommend a date for a NYC representative council meeting, believed to be sometime in June.
Similarly, sponsoring organisations affiliated to the NYC might request the outgoing SG to propose a candidate. “But it is merely done at the prerogative of the affiliated organisation, it should not be the only way,” a source pointed out.
This applied in 2005 when Ralph Blaauw occupied the powerful position albeit for a brief period.
Blaauw was roped in from the Swapo Youth League to replace Pohamba Shifeta who was nominated for Parliament during President Hifikepunye Pohamba’s maiden political appointments.
The Swapo Youth League is affiliated to the NYC. The other option is for the NYC representative council (RC) to propose a candidate in the absence of a general youth assembly – the highest decision making body of the NYC – which takes place every four years.
However, this can only happen if all 26 members of the NEC, 13 representatives of the 13 regional youth forums and one member each from affiliated youth organisations decide on a candidate during a representative council meeting.
It is not clear whether an extraordinary representative council will be summoned.
“It all depends on the NEC,” said a highly placed source in the executive committee. If this happens, chances are high that an election will be held within all the structures of the NYC to choose a candidate.
As things stand, Namoloh by virtue of being in a management position at the NYC is likely to steer the ship in an acting capacity until the NEC meeting.
This will be the second time that Namoloh assumes this role. He was roped in again in 2005 when he acted briefly after the departure of Ralph Blaauw.
Nothing odd, as the structures of the NYC actually recognize Namoloh’s position as the second in command, whenever the SG is not available.
Be that as it may, the NEC will still have to call for an Extraordinary Representative Council to endorse the candidates as was proposed.
This might prove problematic as the representative council is the second highest decision-making structure in the NYC, and has all 26 members of the NEC, 13 representatives of the 13 regional youth forums and one member each from affiliated youth organisations.
“We have to convince the RC and hope it won’t prove too difficult,” said the source.
As it stands now, if the RC has another candidate on offer, then an election might be the only way out. The contest would be between the candidate proposed by the NEC and a candidate from the RC.
Although enacted and established as a youth empowering organisation back in 1994, it has largely remained a networking entity with little impact in advancing youth matters.
Many pundits say the movement lacks the panache it had before, claiming it has lost its soul.
“There is a body at the NYC, but no soul,” said a NEC member.