Omuthiya-Armas Amukwiyu has retained his position as the Swapo Party’s Oshikoto regional coordinator after he trounced veteran politician Marx Nekongo with 67 votes, while Nekongo – who disappeared half way through the lengthy conference – garnered only 17 votes. Only one ballot was spoiled.
Engel Natiwaseb also retained his post of regional treasurer uncontested, while Saara Shikokola received 67 votes to secure the position of regional secretary for information and mobilisation against Anna Magano Kambonde’s 18.
The conference, attended by 85 delegates from 11 districts, lasted approximately 17 hours. It started on Wednesday morning with protracted closed-door meetings, leading to the elections being finalised by 04h00 yesterday.
Adding to the delay, a re-run was ordered after the first results in which Amukwiyu emerged victorious were announced, as it was found that Oshikoto Governor Henock Kankoshi voted, while he was not a delegate. This is despite him being a member of the regional executive committee, which he occupies by virtue of his position as governor.
The acting chairperson of the verification team, (retired) Major-General Charles Namoloh declared the conference and the results free and fair and that the outcome should be accepted. In his acceptance speech, Amukwiyu said the victory was not his alone but for the masses, and that what happened before should remain history.
“Let us here today declare once again that Namibia is not for sale. Our people must come first. Let us declare that our ideological common denominator is the Swapo Party and I wish to appeal to all of you that, as you return to your districts and to your villages, go and preach issues of bread and butter and not emotion-driven issues that are not contributing to nation-building. Go preach unity instead of disunity; go and preach genuine inclusivity, instead of revenge and or tribalism,” Amukwiyu told fellow delegates.
He further advised the delegates and the nation at large to engage in conversations that build and not destroy, as well as to discourage those who want to engage in corrupt activities at the expense of the public.
“We are aware that the generation before us won the political independence and therefore our generation must consolidate national unity and deliver economic freedom to all our people. Our generational motto must be ‘everything for the economic struggle and all for the total victory against poverty, hunger, unemployment, ignorance, tribalism, corruption and all other retrogressive tendencies’,” stressed Amukwiyu at the sixth regional conference, held under the theme: ‘Swapo Party is our Heritage’.
In the same vein, Amukwiyu took a swipe at national leaders who have been heard making tribal remarks in audio recordings circulating on social media, stating that, “we should reject leaders who hold such kind of views, they do not belong to our organisation.”
Amukwiyu also expressed concern about the state of affairs within Swapo, saying some ruling party leaders are confusing in the manner in which they manage and implement the provisions of the constitution.
“Our party will only be a force to be reckoned with if we are united, patriotic and honest in our conduct. However, judging from some of the behaviours and actions in our mighty party, especially during the period leading to the elective congress, the situation leaves much to be desired,” he said.
In total 10 delegates were nominated to represent the region on the Swapo Party Central Committee and at the upcoming national congress.