Police called to quell Swapo faction fight

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GOBABIS, 31 January 2012 Aminius District Swapo-Party Coordinator Kejamuina Mungendje, 43, has confirmed that he will contest the position of Omaheke Regional Swapo-Party Coordinator if nominated to stand for it. (Photo by: Mulisa Simiyasa) NAMPA

Kuzeeko Tjitemisa

Windhoek-Swapo’ infighting in the Omaheke Region continue unabated as the race to succeed the party’s incumbent regional coordinator for that region, Kejamuina Mungendje, seemed to get out of hand.

The new altercation follows Tuesday night’s disputed internal election of office bearers, which saw former Epukiro Councillor Ruth Kaukuata-Mbura elected as regional coordinator. Mungendje however disputes the validity of the Tuesday elections, and has refused to vacate the office.

Mungendje said he was yesterday morning confronted by Bernhard Esau, who was accompanied by a police contingent, and ordered to vacate the office because he lost to Kaukuata-Mbura. Esau is the chairperson of Swapo national leaders assigned to Omaheke.

Mungendje told New Era that police officers accompanied by Esau confronted him yesterday morning, requesting him to hand over the office keys to his rival, Kaukuata-Mbura, which Mungendje said he adamantly refused to do. “I told them that I won’t vacate this office until I am instructed either by the Swapo Secretary General Nangolo Mbumba, or a free and fair election,” said Mungendje when contacted for comment. Kaukuata-Mbura declined to comment.

Upon enquiries Esau said hee went to the regional with the sole purpose of introducing the new leadership to the office.” As you know, we elected a new leadership for the region last night [Tuesday night] which saw Kaukuata-Mbura being elected as the Omaheke Regional coordinator. My purpose at the office was to introduce them to the office,” he said.

Police Commander for Omaheke Region Josephat Abelonfirmed that the police had to be called to the Swapo office in Gobabis to resolve tension and misunderstanding between the two factions.

“What we do as police officers is to maintain peace and stability and that’s what we did this morning,” he said.

Mungendje maintains that he was supposed to organise that election yesterday but that failed to materialise after the police and Esau ordered him to hand over the keys.

New Era understands that one faction – believed to include Omaheke Governor Festus Ueitele, chairperson of Omaheke Regional Council Ignatius Gariseb, Okorukambe Constituency Councillor Raphael Mokaleng, and Phillipus Katamelo MP, on Tuesday night elected former Epukiro councillor Ruth Kaukuata-Mbura as the regional Swapo chief to replace Mungendje.

Mungendje said he didn’t take part in the election, therefore it was null and void, as he is still the Swapo regional coordinator for the region.

Mungendje is believed to be in the other faction consisting of Epukiro Councillor Constituency Cornelius Kanguatjivi, the former Epukiro Constituency councillor Brave Tjizera, former Swapo Women’s Council member Bianca van Wyk, as well as Frans Murangi.

Swapo secretary general Nangolo Mbumba was also not available for comment, as he was in a meeting at the time.

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