Swapo old guard to defuse Omaheke infighting

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WINDHOEK, 23 May 2016 - Former Prime Minister Marco Hausiku is the founding Rector of the Swapo Party School. Here he speaks during the official inauguration of the school in Windhoek West Monday. (Photo by: Joseph Nekaya) NAMPA

Kuzeeko Tjitemisa

Windhoek-The Swapo Party politburo has assigned party veterans Theo-Ben Gurirab, Marco Hausiku and Libertina Amathila to verify the procedures followed during four chaotic district conferences in Omaheke Region, where some cadres tackled each other physically to get into plum positions.

The three senior veterans tasked with verifying the processes leading up to the district conferences at Otjinene, Otjombinde, Aminuis and Okorukambe will be accompanied by Katrina Hanse-Himarwa, who serves as the country’s minister of education.

In a letter to the regional coordinator for Omaheke, Kejamuina Mungendje, Swapo secretary general Nangolo Mbumba said the politburo had resolved to set up a verification team to verify the procedures followed in the run-up to the district conferences mentioned above.

He said the arrival date of the four leaders in the region would be communicated to Mungendje as soon as the logistics are finalised.

The letter, which New Era has seen, was copied to Bernhard Esau, the chairperson of Swapo national leaders assigned to Omaheke Region, and Dr Albert Kawana, Swapo’s secretary for legal affairs.

The decision by the politburo of the Swapo Party central committee follows this month’s disputed internal election of party office-bearers in the region, which was reportedly conducted in the presence of Esau. The disputed poll saw former Epukiro councillor Ruth Kaukuata-Mbura elected as regional coordinator. Swapo Party Youth League (SPYL) regional secretary Eben Handura was elected as information and mobilisation officer and former Namibia Football Association (NFA) president Elliot Hiskia as regional treasurer.

The conference also elected Omaheke Regional Governor Festus Ueitele, Rafael Kavari (Aminuis), Aaron Marenga (Otjimbinde), Erensty Ndjavera (Otjinene), Eben Handura (SPYL), Nono Katjingisiua (Otjinene), Nona Gorases, Justine Bernhardt, Maria Hoebes and Lena Seibes as the ten delegates to attend the Swapo congress later this year.

The conference further elected Omaheke Governor Ueitele, Phillipus Katamelo MP, Deputy Minister of Urban and Rural Development Sylvia Makgone and Deputy Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister Christine //Hoebes as the four candidates for the central committee.

At the time, Mungendje said he did not take part in the election, thus it was null and void and therefore he still considered himself the rightful regional coordinator. 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 is believed to be in the opposing faction, said to consist of Epukiro Constituency Councillor Cornelius Kanguatjivi, former Epukiro councillor Brave Tjizera, former Swapo Women’s Council member Bianca van Wyk, as well as Frans Murangi.

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