SWAPO Party senior leaders, Helmut Angula and Kazenambo Kazenambo are reported to have clashed at a Politburo meeting on Monday around the issue of labelling party members AR agents, the Windhoek Observer has established.
The confrontation between the two party elders was triggered by a report presented by Angula during the meeting regarding party squabbles in the Erongo region.
During the presentation, Angula alleged the Erongo and Oshikoto regions were infested with AR agents and called on the party to do everything in its power to regain control of the two regions, a position challenged by Kazenambo, who questioned how Angula had come to that conclusion.
Kazenambo allegedly said it was unfair for the party to label members because they differed in opinion and choices.
Elders in the ruling SWAPO Party have recently been accused of labelling members who appear not to be in favour of the status quo as AR agents, a position which Kazenambo warned had previously caused the detention of SWAPO members in dungeons in Lubango, with some having lost their lives.
The vocal Kazenambo said the lack of proper screening in terms of who is a spy or not, had led to the suffering of innocent party members previously.
He added that in 2007, innocent SWAPO members, who had been labelled hibernators, lost their businesses and jobs because of such attacks, a position supported by Charles Namoloh, who said such claims had destroyed people’s lives, while calling for an end to the unwarranted character assassination.
Angula, who remained steadfast on his claims, is said to have defended himself by stating that party members were being defensive because they had not been attacked and called zombies by the AR.
His statement, Politburo sources said, resulted in Namoloh interjecting, saying other members had been called different names before, including spies. After Namoloh’s statement, Angula is said to have cast a lonely figure during the rest of the meeting
At the same Politburo meeting, the regional conference elections of Otjozondjupa, Oshikoto and Omusati regions came under the microscope.
The outcome of the regional conference election was accepted by the Politburo.
The acceptance dealt a heavy blow on the administrative and executive representation of President Hage Geingob, Otto Ipinge, who could not make it to congress.
The party decision during the meeting also raised eyebrows regarding the support towards the SWAPO acting president.
The fact that staunch Hage supporters such as Ipinge and Steve Biko had not made it during the regional elections, raised questions on the new leadership’s stance towards Hage.
Politburo also endorsed delegates seen to be non-supporters of Geingob from towns such as Otavi and Okahandja.
Susan Hikopua was re-elected as regional coordinator at the party’s regional elective conference at Waterberg last weekend, garnering 31 votes to Paulus Nekundi’s eight votes.
Clive Kavendji was retained as the regional mobiliser, while Patrick Goagub assumed the regional treasurer’s position.
Tobie Aupindi and Erickson Nenghwanya are both going to November’s congress after they were nominated to the SWAPO Central Committee, while Deputy Finance Minister, Natangwe Ithete, was not nominated.
In Oshikoto, investigations into the victory of Oshikoto Regional Coordinator, Armas Amukwiyu, have been completed and findings were reported to the Politburo meeting on Monday.
The meeting then ordered a rerun of one district (Olukonda) out of the 10 districts that had nominated Amukwiyu.
Party sources have described the investigation against Amukwiyu as a witch hunt, to find grounds to nullify his victory.
Amukwiyu is seen as a power broker during the upcoming national congress scheduled for later this year.
Both Geingob and Mbumba have been accused of questioning the outcomes of regional conferences, which did not come out in their favour such as in Oshikoto and Omusati, but not in Ohangwena, where they enjoy full support.
In Omusati, SWAPO Party Regional Coordinator for Omusati, Sacky Kayone, is expected to be elected unopposed, while Regional Governor, Erginus Endjala, appears to be struggling to make it to congress. This comes after Regional Executive Committee (REC) in Omusati decided that Kayone should run uncontested.
Endjala is said to be struggling to get to the National Congress, as he is no longer a regional coordinator or a central committee member since he was appointed governor.
“That is not my call to make. If people want me to go to the congress, they can speak up and I will, but if they do not want, then that is fine. Otherwise, I am still governor. Campaigning has not fully started in my region, we still have time to do so,” Endjala said.
Meanwhile, the SWAPO Party Elders Council (SPEC) is set to hold its sixth National Congress in Outapi this weekend.
Former unionist and suspended Oniipa SWAPO Party district member, Eddy Kapembe, is contesting against the incumbent, Mukwaita Shanyengana.
Party sources say delegates want someone who will forge unity in the SPEC instead of causing division.
Shanyengana is supported by both Mbumba and Geingob.