SPYL and AR in a war of words

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Windhoek

A war of words erupted between the Affirmative Repositioning (AR) group and the Swapo Party Youth League (SPYL) yesterday after the youth league repeated its earlier calls for its members to distance themselves from the land and housing advocacy movement.

The call did not sit well with the leaders of AR, with one of the founders, Job Amupanda, yesterday saying the statement shows that the youth league’s leadership is comprised of “unenlightened opportunists.”

SPYL issued a statement yesterday on the outcome of last weekend’s central committee meeting, in which spokesperson Neville Itope again “reiterated the stand of the Swapo Party, [that] all SPYL rank and file not involve themselves in the activities of the Affirmative Repositioning.” He said “government must be supported in their efforts to address the urban land issue.”

AR founders Job Amupanda, George Kambala and Dimbulukeni Nauyoma were SPYL members until they were expelled from the ruling party for allegedly bringing the party into disrepute.

Government has, however, shown a willingness to enter into dialogue with the AR movement and to devise a collective approach to address the land issue, including the mass servicing of erven in Oshakati, Walvis Bay and Windhoek.

Amupanda – who together with Kambala and Nauyoma, have all approached the courts asking for their expulsions from the ruling party to be declared null and void – yesterday said the pronouncement by SPYL did not come as any surprise.

“We’re not surprised by their contradictory comments from a thirsty gang that is singing songs for their potato salad. No serious youth can take them seriously,” said Amupanda. He described SPYL’s leadership as “triumphalist opportunists intellectually, strategically or posturally”.

SPYL’s central committee meeting over the weekend saw four members of the national executive committee (NEC) chucked out of the NEC due to alleged improper conduct.

Romona Hidileko was replaced as secretary for finance and administration by Paula Kooper, while Immanuel Nashinge was replaced as secretary for economic affairs by Thomas Indjii.

Simeon Haihambo replaced Menthel Links, who was secretary for education, Swapo Pioneers Movement and culture, while Paulus Mbangu, who was an additional member on the NEC, has been replaced by Olivia Valungameka.

According to Itope, SPYL’s central committee said the four former NEC members were acting contrary to the established constitutional duties and values of the youth league – and by extension those of the party.

“By implication their public conduct and or performance were putting the party and the league’s good image into disrepute. Therefore, the central committee resolved to relieve the following comrades from their NEC portfolios and replace them with ordinary central committee members with immediate effect,” he said.

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