The Swapo Party primary elections that took place here last week – ahead of the regional and local authority elections scheduled for November – ended with most incumbent councillors retaining their candidacy for the party.
In the interests of transparency and free and fair elections, the officials took long to complete the exercise, with some elective congresses announcing the final results only after midnight.
The Swapo district elections to elect candidates to contest in the upcoming elections also saw the new constituencies of Judea Lyabolloma and Kabbe North electing candidates for the first time.
They are former Kabbe Constituency Councillor Peter Mwala for Kabbe North, and Beaven Munali for Judea Lyabolloma Constituency.
The constituency councillors of Katima Rural (Warden Simushi) and Urban (Bernard Sibalatani), Sibbinda (Ignatius Chunga), Kongola (David Muluti) and Linyanti (Cletius Sipapela) all retained their positions as candidates for the ruling party.
Although initially won by Councillor Raphael Mbala, the election for Kabbe South was mired in controversy after some union members were reportedly prevented from voting – allegedly by the district coordinator for Kabbe South, George Kasale.
A re-election was called on Saturday, following the nullification of results. The former mayor of Katima Mulilo, John Likando, ultimately won that election.
The reasons for barring the unions were not clear and New Era could not independently verify this with Kasale by the time of going to print.
Before the irregularity was registered with the Swapo regional office, incumbent Councillor Raphael Mbala was pronounced the winner, after beating contender John Likando by a small margin.
Re-voting, however, proved to be against Mbala – who turned out to be the only councillor to be ousted from the race – as Likando beat him by 89 to 81 votes on Saturday. Swapo regional coordinator Linus Mafale declined to comment on the outcome, saying he would only be in a position to speak on Monday, after he has taken full stock of the weekend’s developments.
The internal race for candidacy in the local authority elections produced similar results, with Michael Mudabeti the only victim. He was replaced by Lister Shamalaza, Swapo District coordinator for Choto.
The current councillors are Nsala Muhongo Mapenzi, Georgina Mwiya Simataa, Salubila Maswahu, Charles Matengu and Esther Sankwasa.