Victimisation a reality in SWAPO: Ithana

BY VITALIO ANGULA, UAUEZA KANGUATJIVI AND ERASMUS SHALIHAXWE

“SWAPO has a history of victimising those aspiring for higher office, I have been a direct victim of such victimization,” Pendukeni Ivula-Ithana, Swapo Women’s Council (SWC) Delegate to the party congress slated for November informed Confidente in an exclusive interview on Thursday.

Ithana who contested the Vice- Presidency of the party alongside Team Swapo at the 2017 congress said the events that took place at that gathering left a bitter taste in her mouth.

“How can you have someone say they would only work with people they like and they proceed to nominate the Vice-President, Secretary –General and the Deputy Secretary-General,” Ithana narrated.

“The previous congress was a sham, and knives were drawn-out for those who openly supported my candidature, until today we are still victims of what happened at that gathering,” she lamented.

Ithana was responding to questions regarding the deafening silence of regional coordinators who were approached by Confidente on their preferred candidates for the top four positions.

Ithana said the forbearers who drafted the Swapo Party constitution should be applauded for their foresight in establishing the principle of a secret ballot for those contesting elections.

She said this creates unity, and a sense of harmony, whereas endorsements and open campaigning for aspiring canditates leads to disunity.

A former Swapo parliamentarian and founding member of the Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP), who chose to speak on condition of anonymity for fear of getting in trouble acknowledged the danger of delegates to the congress publicly aligning themselves with certain individuals.

“The political space in this country is a toxic environment and one can be alienated if their desired candidate does not win the elections and assume a desired position,” she said.

‘As you can remember at the 2004 Congress, when we supported Hidipo Hamutenya, we were all victimised to the point where we could not remain in Swapo, the same played out in the following congress so I can fully understand why the regional coordinators chose to remain silent on their preferred candidates,” she noted.

COORDINATORS REMAIN MUM

Regional Coordinators of the Swapo Party have preferred not to publicly align themselves with the hotly contested top four nominations for the Swapo leadership who will take over the helm of the party when the organisation convenes for its seventh congress in November this year.

Confidente approached Kaukauta Mbura of the Omaheke region who informed the publication that on Saturday 24 September the candidates would be making a brief stop in the region to present their manifestos.

“My vote is a secret so I cannot say who has my vote, we have sent a programme to the head office, only then will we decide which of the candidates vying for top positions has our support as a region after we hear from them,” Mbura said.

“After all we are a region and as the regional coordinator, I cannot be in a rush, everyone has their own views and their own candidate they would want to vote for,” she added.

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