‘Snake’ remark triggers argument at Swapo indaba

Omaheke Governor Festus Ueitele


A heated altercation reportedly broke out between Omaheke Governor Festus Ueitele and Swapo Aminuis branch organiser Malaika Ndisiro after a Swapo meeting held at Gobabis last Sunday.

The meeting was convened to address the recent skirmishes precipitated by Ueitele’s recent tribal remarks against the Ovaherero community, which had the entire region in uproar. New Era understands the meeting was attended by Swapo Secretary General Nangolo Mbumba, Education Deputy Minister Sylvia Makgone, Deputy Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister Christine //Hoebes, Swapo backbencher in the National Assembly Gotthard Kasuto and Swapo leadership in Omaheke with the aim of pacifying the warring factions.

New Era is reliably informed the altercation between the two happened in full view of the party leadership just after the meeting.
When contacted for comment yesterday, Ndisiro neither denied nor confirmed the incident and said he does not speak to strangers on the telephone. “If you want to speak about the issue come and meet me in person. I don’t know you, let’s meet in person,” he said.

However, New Era was informed that during the meeting Ndisiro wanted to know from Mbumba why Ueitele who is also the Swapo Party organiser for Omaheke Region referred to him (Ndisiro) in an audio recording as a “snake”.

It is further understood the confrontation continued outside and led to the two being restrained by other leaders.
The regional Swapo leadership has been in turmoil since the widely circulated audio recording in which Ueitele was heard saying some members of the Ovaherero community are backstabbers, practise double standards and do not seem to respect other tribes.

Ueitele has since denied the allegations of tribalism levelled against him, saying the recorded audio attributed to him was maliciously tampered with. According to him, there has been a campaign by the Ovaherero to remove non-Otjiherero-speaking people from key positions in the region.

In a related development some residents of Omaheke last month marched to the offices of the Omaheke governor to express their displeasure over tribal remarks attributed to him that caused a tribal storm.

Residents also recommended that President Hage Geingob apply article 32 (6) of the constitution that states that as the president’s representative the regional governor should uphold, protect and defend the constitution and perform all duties with dignity and leadership, subject to Namibia’s laws and the constitution.

Both Mbumba and Swapo Party regional coordinator Kejamuina Mungendje’s phones went unanswered as they were said to be in a similar meeting at Talismanus in Otjombinde Constituency, yesterday.


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