By Hoandi !Gaeb
MARIENTAL– “If you touch Swapo, then you touch us. If you touch Hage Geingob, you touch us. An injury to Swapo, is an injury to us. An injury to Hage Geingob, is an injury to us.”
Met with applause, these were the words of Swapo Politiburo member and Governor of the Hardap Region, Katrina Hanse-Himarwa, during the ruling party’s regional consultative and strategic conference at Mariental on Saturday.
Hanse-Himarwa made the remarks in reference to views by some party members that opposition parties who have thrown their support behind Prime Minister Hage Geingob’s presidential candidacy must also extend their support to Swapo and not only its candidate.
Swapo Party Youth League (SPYL) spokesperson Job Amupanda last week described as “opportunist” that some opposition parties, mostly the Republican Party and the United Democratic Front (UDF), have urged their members to vote for Geingob, but not Swapo, in the upcoming presidential and National Assembly elections.
On Saturday, Hanse-Himarwa also used the same occasion to urge all opposition parties in the country to follow the example of the RP and UDF in supporting Geingob during the elections.
Hanse-Himarwa noted that Swapo members must thank the opposition parties that expressed their support for Geingob. It is a vote of confidence in the qualities of Geingob as – in all likelihood – the next president of Namibia, she said.
Hanse-Himarwa said it is imperative that the Swapo Party remains united and work hard to continue to lead the country and the nation.
“Only if we are genuinely united, will the goals and objectives set out in the party’s manifesto be achieved.”
The conference also elected former governor of the Hardap Region, Karl Kisting, and Caroline Pieters as their representatives at the upcoming Swapo electoral college.
Kisting garnered 33 out of 41 votes while Willem Moller from Rehoboth only won eight votes. Pieters was automatically endorsed as she was the sole female candidate.
Hanse-Himarwa also lashed out at some members of the party who are allegedly working against the party’s principles. “Do not come to my house to spy on me. Be my comrades. Protect me as your leader so that I can continue to deliver the goods for you,” the governor said.
She urged those Swapo members who have not yet registered to do so during the supplementary registration process which will be held in September. “We are trendsetters in the Hardap Region, let us register and vote for Swapo fully.”
The chairman of the committee of assigned leaders to the Hardap Region, Fisheries and Marine Resources Minister, Bernhard Esau, also called on delegates to the conference to organise themselves properly for the elections.
“As we are moving towards elections as Namibians we need to organise ourselves to vote for Swapo. However, in order to vote, all Swapo supporters must be registered. After the supplementary registration process in September, all of you must be registered,” Esau said.
“We as Swapo members must go from house to house to mobilise our people to vote for the ruling party. Hage Geingob is ours and we must vote for him.”
The conference was inter alia attended by the Deputy Minister of Regional and Local Government, Housing and Rural Development, Priscilla Beukes, Member of Parliament Eveline !Nowases-Kayele and Swapo Party Regional Coordinator in the //Karas Region, Matheus Mumbala.