President sets up committee to probe election primaries

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Windhoek

President Hage Geingob, who officially launched the Swapo election campaign in Windhoek on Saturday says he has set up a committee to conduct a post-mortem on the elections at the primaries, following numerous complaints by Swapo Party district executive committee members who are unhappy with the election of certain candidate to represent the party in the regional and local authorities elections scheduled for next month.

Some members of the Swapo Party district executive committee at Okalongo, for example, who claim the election was not fair or transparent, called for the immediate nullification of the result. The aggrieved members wrote a letter to the Swapo secretary general Nangolo Mbumba, expressing concern over alleged unfairness in the election of the candidates.

Although President Geingob is pleased that Swapo already won in 11 constituencies, with some being uncontested, he is concerned that people are unhappy with their councillors.

“During my trips to the regions where I held town hall meetings, I was disturbed to discover that everywhere I went I was informed that the people are unhappy with their councillors. That’s why during the primaries, some of our cadres lost out, including the old guard and subsequently there were complaints regarding these outcomes.

“Yesterday (Friday) at the politburo I set up a committee to conduct a post-mortem on the elections at the primaries,” he said on Saturday during the launch of the SWAPO party regional and local government election campaign.

He cautioned councillors, who are reportedely never available to assist people at grassroots level and who only show up during the elections to desist from such behaviour. Further, he said people should also learn to accept defeat once they lost out.

“In my thesis, I talked about Savimbi Syndrome, where those who lose, cry foul. Some cadres have even been heard exclaiming that ‘This is not the Swapo we knew’. Let me tell you, this is the same Swapo. You have only become Savimbi, because you lost,” he remarked.

Geingob said he too once lost by one vote in the politburo and also lost out to the late Hendrik Witbooi, but did not cry or make disparaging remarks about the Swapo party. However, he said some party members have suddenly changed and become “fair weather friends.”

He applauded members in the Zambezi Region, who lost out in the primaries, but accepted defeat and decided to move on.

“You may recall that when comrades Jerry Ekandjo and Pendukeni Ithana lost out at the 2012 congress we held hands. They accepted the result and proceeded to fervently support the 2014 election campaign. Humility and commitment to Swapo is one of the reasons we were able to win by such a huge margin,” Geingob said.

He urged all cadres, who stand ready to contest the upcoming election, to continue to carry the flame of patriotism and selflessness for which the party is known. He advised them to put self-interest aside and pick up the mantle of hard work.

 

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