Charges opened against Ueitele after ruckus at Swapo conference

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WINDHOEK, 19 March 2010 - Newly sworn-in SWAPO member of Parliament Festus Ueitele attentively listening to the remarks by re-elected Speaker of the National Assembly Theo-Ben Gurirab during the swearing-in ceremony of the new parliamentarians for the 5th Government of the Republic of Namibia. Three opposition parties such as RDP, DTA and RP boycotted the ceremony. (Photo by: Joseph Nekaya) NAMPA

Kuzeeko Tjitemisa

Windhoek-A case of malicious damage to property has been filed with the Gobabis police against Omaheke Regional Governor Festus Ueitele following tensions at Saturday’s extraordinary district conference of Swapo.

Police Regional Commander for Omaheke Commissioner Josephat Abel yesterday confirmed the charge to New Era, saying that at this stage a case of malicious damage has been registered and is under investigation, but that no one has yet been arrested.

Former Omaheke Swapo Party Women’s League (SPWL) regional coordinator Bianca Van Wyk yesterday confirmed to New Era that she had file a case of malicious damage to property against Ueitele, but said she doubted whether the case would ever see the light of day.

“I’m reading already in the papers that the police… Abel is saying there is no case open, but I opened a CR 02/06/2017 with the Gobabis police,” she said.

She also forwarded New Era a WhatsApp video, that shows footage of Ueitele grabbing her phone aggressively.

Van Wyk told this reporter that the meeting had to be postponed after chaos erupted when Okorukambe Constituency Councillor Raphael Mokaleng jumped up and introduced himself as the party’s district coordinator of Okorukambe, despite Frans Murangi having been elected to the position.

She said the police had to be called in after verbal violence erupted, with some delegate’s allegedly hurling insults at each other.

New Era understands there is division among party members in the region involving two factions, one consisting of Epukiro Constituency Councillor Cornelius Kanguatjivi, former councillor of the same constituency Brave Tjizera, with Swapo Party Women’s Council member Bianca van Wyk and Frans Murangi, amogst others.

In the other corner are Ueitele, Mokaleng, chairperson of Omaheke Regional Council Ignatius Gariseb, Phillipus Katamelo MP, and others.

New Era reported that last month an Omaheke Swapo regional executive meeting in Gobabis also had to be adjourned after verbal violence erupted, with some delegates allegedly hurling insults at each other.

At the time, Mungendje downplayed the incident, but confirmed a decision had been taken to adjourn the meeting until further notice.

Van Wyk is the former regional coordinator, who initially won a first election for the top women’s position last year, but which she later lost to Justine Bernard after the first election was nullified. Murangi recently also won an election for the party’s Okorukambe Constituency coordinator position, which was also later nullified.

Both claim the nullification of their election was illegal and have since taken the party to court.

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