Swapo Party secretary general Nangolo Mbumba this week denied claims that the Politburo ordered its youth wing (SPYL) to cancel a central committee meeting that was scheduled to take place last Saturday.
SPYL central committee members were due to meet over the past weekend to discuss the leadership crisis prevailing in the youth league following the recent expulsion of its secretary, Dr Elijah Ngurare. The planned SPYL meeting had earlier attracted stark criticism from members of its national executive committee, who felt the meeting was not properly convened.
CC member Neville Andre Itope told New Era on Saturday that the meeting was cancelled because the Politburo requested the youth wing not to go ahead immediately with the meeting.
“The meeting will not take place today [Saturday]. They [Politburo] requested a postponement. The secretary general will give us a date on which the meeting will take place,” Itope said.
Mbumba, however, on Sunday denied that the Politburo gave any such directive: “We did not give such instructions, as I told you the last time we spoke, the youth league must follow its own constitution and do things accordingly.”
“Why should the Politburo give them directives?” Mbumba asked. Although Mbumba has given public assurances that the mother body would not mingle in the affairs of SPYL, many feel that the decision to expel Ngurare without consulting the youth wing is in stark contrast to earlier pronouncements by the secretary general.
The deputy secretary of SPYL, Veiko Nekundi, also denied allegations that the Politburo had ordered SPYL to cancel the meeting. “The meeting was postponed, because we are doing some internal consultations. I picked up on those rumours as well, but it’s not true. We want a comradely environment to prevail so that we can have a spirit of comradeship,” he said.
Nekundi said the cancelled CC meeting would be reconvened in the near future. From the latest developments it however appears that Nekundi does not enjoy the support of the remaining eight national executive committee members. A day after Ngurare was expelled the leadership of SPYL in turn suspended Nekundi.
He, however, maintains that he has not been lawfully suspended and that – by virtue of being the deputy secretary – he is now in charge of the youth league, as its acting secretary until a new leader is elected.
The 24-member Politburo met on Thursday shortly after the party’s CC meeting, partly to discuss the ongoing friction within the youth league.