ONDERA – The vice-president of the Swapo Party, Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitah, has strongly warned party members to desist from creating competing groups within the party, saying the 2017 Swapo factionalism should be a thing of the past never to be repeated.
She was making reference to the sixth congress of Swapo last year that was hotly contested by the then Swapo presidential candidate Jerry Ekandjo through the faction called Team Swapo and another faction that supported the victor President Hage Geingob under Team Harambee.
“If you are belonging or still want to belong to a group, what purpose is it serving now? The congress is over – when democracy prevails there is no looking backwards. Rather we should be strategising about 2019 when we have to campaign together to elect the party’s national leadership,” stressed Nandi-Ndaitwah to cheers from party members gathered at Ondera farm in Guinas where the party held its belated 58th anniversary celebration.
The congress last year saw division among party members and was marred by insults and finger-pointing. Team Harambee that scored a landslide victory included President Hage Geingob who contested for the party president position, Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah for vice president, Sophia Shaningwa for secretary general and Marco Hausiku for deputy secretary general.
Team Swapo, which was abandoned immediately after the congress outcome, was led by Jerry Ekandjo and Nahas Angula who both vied for the Swapo party presidency; Armas Amukwiyu lost to Shaningwa for the secretary general position, while for the position of deputy secretary general both Petrina Haingura and Martha Namundjebo-Tilahun lost to Hausiku. “We cannot afford to be divided in 2019 – let’s unite as one for the benefit of the party. If you still have those thoughts, wait for 2022, but for now we have to build the party,” urged Nandi-Ndaitwah.
She further warned that party members should do away with rumour-mongering and focus on serious issues concerning the well-being of the party.
“This is not a party of gossiping, we have to talk and discuss issues pertaining to the party – if you are here discussing people instead of issues, you’re just making yourself unhappy. We have serious issues of high unemployment and inequality which need to be addressed rather than gossiping” she fumed.