Ongoing district and regional elections to nominate delegates to the SWAPO elective congress later in November have been hit by allegations of vote buying and bribery, party Secretary for Information and Mobilisation, Helmut Angula, has confirmed.
Angula told the Windhoek Observer recently that his office has been inundated with calls from party members who are claiming rampant vote buying from those who are vying for positions at the ongoing district and regional conferences.
“We have received many of these complaints on a daily basis and they are so rampant,” Angula said. “Most of these complaints are coming from Omusati, Oshana, Oshikoto, Omaheke, Erongo, Hardap and Khomas regions.”
He said only five out of the country’s 14 regions have conducted their district and regional conferences in a relatively peaceful and calm manner.
“The only regions, which are calm and complaints are of a different nature, are the Kavangos (East and West), Kunene, //Kharas and Zambezi. Their complaints range from lack of transport to poor attendance, gender and generational imbalances,” Angula said.
The former cabinet minister, however, expressed concern that no one had provided evidence to substantiate their allegations of bribery and vote buying.
“No evidence has been provided and no witnesses have come forward. People are good at reporting this kind of stuff, but there is no evidence.
“Why is it that we get to see evidence of people getting drunk or of those getting themselves involved in many other unusual activities, but we don’t get to see these people being given money?” Angula quizzed.
“It does no good having people complain with no evidence. I am therefore calling on all our people who are busy laying complaints to come forward with evidence as well,” Angula said, adding that was the only way the party can take action against the alleged perpetrators.
“Let us stop promoting leaders that are corrupt. If people are bribing their way to the top at regional conferences, what happens when they get to the top?”
The contest for party positions at both district and regional level is in preparation for the four-day SWAPO Congress that will take place from 23 to 26 November, where the party will elect a new president, vice president, secretary general and deputy secretary general.
All eyes have been on Oshikoto Regional Coordinator, Armas Amukwiyu, who is likely to retain his position after getting10 nominations out of 11 districts, while his rival, former Oshikoto Regional Council Chairperson, Marx Nekongo, has received only one nomination from the Omuthiya district.
Analysts say the outcome of the Oshikoto Regional Conference, scheduled for June 24 will be key going into the congress, as Amukwiyu a one-time Hage Geingob ally-turned-nemesis is regarded as kingmaker.