Ex-SPWL coordinator refuses to leave office

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Windhoek -Former Omaheke Swapo Party Women’s League (SPWL) regional coordinator, Bianca Van Wyk, has been refusing to vacate her former office, New Era was reliably informed.

In August last year Van Wyk was re-elected as regional coordinator for the Omaheke Region. However, after the discovery of irregularities in the election process, Swapo Party’s main decision making body, the politburo, set aside the August result and called for new elections, which Van Wyk lost to Justine Bernardt in December.

Contacted for comment, Van Wyk yesterday said no one has come to ask her for the keys, and moreover that Bernardt does also not qualify for the position, as she was not a card-carrying SPWL member. “We have written a petition in this regard to the Swapo Party headquarters and we are still awaiting for the response,” Van Wyk said.

Bernard yesterday referred all queries to the party’s regional coordinator, Kejamuina Mungendje, saying she was in a shop and could not respond to all the media queries. “Please call me back after five minutes,” she said. However, when contacted later her phone was off.

Mungendje said he could not comment on the issue as he was off sick, but promised to contact both parties next week to come and present both sides of the story.

Senior party members in the Omaheke Region have in the past been accused of playing the tribal card in an attempt to derail government programmes. On top of that, infighting has rocked Swapo Party in the region, with some members feeling that the restructuring exercise spearheaded last year by then SPWL secretary general Petrina Haingura excluded other eligible members from the process.

SPWL is set to hold its first central committee meeting tomorrow (Friday) after the elections in December last year that saw Eunice Ipinge overpower Petrina Haingura to win the emotionally-charged race for the position of secretary of the Swapo Party Women’s Council (SPWC), amid claims widespread of vote-rigging.

Ipinge won with 249 votes against Haingura’s 223 and 81 for Sylvia Kandanga-Sheetekela. Kahungu won the deputy secretary position with 318 votes over 130 for Bernadette Jagger and 105 for Katrina Liswani.

Party members kept close tabs on the outcome of the SPWL elective congress, as it has major implications for the Swapo congress due to take place later this year. The women’s congress was described though by some participants as “disorganised” and “the worst they have ever attended.”

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