Several members of the SWAPO Party Youth League’s (SPYL) National Executive Committee have come out strongly against the party’s leadership, warning the SWAPO top four to stop meddling in the youth wing’s affairs.
SPYL Secretary for International Affairs, Eddie Kafita, told the Windhoek Observer that the interference by the SWAPO top four is merely out of fear of former SPYL Secretary, Elijah Ngurare and Affirmative Repositioning leader, Job Amupanda.
Kafita’s comments come on the eve of the SPYL’s Central Committee (CC) meeting slated for Saturday at Parliament.
He said the CC meeting is expected to address issues of national unity and challenges facing the country such as poverty, youth unemployment and pandemic corruption, among others.
Kafita accused the party leadership of meddling in the affairs of the youth wing in an attempt to weaken the SPYL’s influence ahead of the watershed SWAPO Party elective congress later this year.
He said chaos in the youth wing in the run up to the Saturday meeting was being orchestrated by the party’s top four who were afraid of Ngurare and Amupanda’s “strong political leadership”.
“It’s merely to control SPYL affairs, which defeats the purpose of autonomous powers. They want to reduce the SPYL to a puppet organisation, which does not augur well for the future of the SPYL, unfortunately.
“They make it look like SPYL leaders are convening to discuss important issues, but it is the top four who will have the final say, so what is the purpose of the SPYL NEC and CC meetings then?
“It is a waste of time, because the top four are in control of SPYL affairs despite people in SPYL CC and NEC travelling long distances to attend worthless meetings that carry no weight in the organisation’s affairs,” Kafita blasted.
He said he will not attend the CC meeting on Saturday, but would rather go to celebrate the birthday of the Founding Father, Sam Nujoma, slated for Saturday at his farm in Etunda.
According to the SPYL Constitution, the central committee should convene once in 12 months, but the youth wing last had its CC meeting on 29 April last year.
A CC meeting that was scheduled for 17 February this year, ended in chaos after Amupanda demanded his reinstatement to the CC, a body that he had previously resigned from.
Another NEC member, Sioni Iikela told the Windhoek Observer that he will also not be attending the Saturday meeting due to school commitments.
“I will not attend the central committee meeting as I am currently at school. I am not aware of what will be discussed; I speculate that it will be a continuation of the CC meeting that was regrettably adjourned by the Acting Secretary.
“I am aware of the set agenda of the previous meeting of the CC, as it was sanctioned properly by NEC, but this one I will be lying if I tell you that I know what will be discussed.
“It is a pity that power and arrogance has brought us to this state, where only a few are taking decisions on behalf of the established constitutional body (NEC),” Iikela said.
According to Iikela, there will be tight security at the meeting venue on Saturday and no cell phones would be allowed. “We are told in the invitation letter that security will be tight and phones are not allowed in the meeting - I wonder what high-level secrecy meeting it will be. This is a calculated political move that means apartheid systems are being introduced in the SPYL structure. Do we live in fear; are we afraid of each other as youth leaders?”
Iikela said emotions are guiding party members at the moment instead of the constitution.
“This is a year of congress and all what we are seeing is a result of behind the scenes jostling. The constitution is disregarded and those that are not favoured are at the receiving end of all sorts of political plotting and scheming. Conclusion can be made that this is an attempt to keep Ngurare and Amupanda out of their constitutional positions,” Iikela said.
Amupanda, who was flying from Addis Ababa on Thursday, said the party leaders want to sacrifice the SPYL.
“There is a constitutional quagmire and from the look of things those busy with illegal things who were heard in clubs saying they have the support of my competitor, Acting President Hage Geingob, want to sacrifice SPYL and by implication paralyse SWAPO. It will be interesting,”he said.
Amupanda through his lawyers, Amupanda Kamanja Incorporated Legal Practitioners, wrote to Swapo Party Youth League Acting Secretary, Veikko Nekundi, earlier this week demanding to know why he was not invited to the central committee meeting.
SPYL Spokesperson, Neville Itope, maintained on Thursday that Amupanda remains uninvited.
Responding to criticism of interference in the affairs of the SPYL by the Swapo top brass, SWAPO Secretary General, Nangolo Mbumba, told the Windhoek Observer that the party’s leadership was not scared of ‘children’.
“We are not meddling in their affairs; we do not conduct their meetings nor do we organise them. And how can we be scared of children? We are not,” Mbumba said.