Aggrieved Swapo members dig in

24 August 2018 Author   Eliaser Ndeyanale
Aggrieved Swapo party members have accused the ruling party of violating its own constitution and regulations by failing to address concerns raised over the outcome of the November elective congress.
This comes as the party, which is accused of taking a slowed approach in addressing party members’ concerns, has been called out for its use of controversial party lawyer, Dirk Conradie to respond to their concerns.
Speaking to the Windhoek Observer this week, one of the disgruntled members said there was no provision in the rules of the party pertaining to petitions for legal practitioners to respond on behalf of the party.
“Conradie’s petition does not constitute a response to the deadline,” she said.
Swapo rules and procedures for election of party office-bearers and party representatives at legislative and government level states that the congress, the central committee or the politburo shall be empowered to hear an election petition emanating from elections held at the congress.
“In an event where the election petition is brought by a candidate or a voter after the congress, the central committee shall be vested with powers to hear such election petition.” 
Conradie responded to a letter written by Nambata Angula, Merjam Shituula, Seth Boois and Selma Namboga on 31 July where the four aggrieved members had threatened to drag the party to the High Court should there be no steps taken on or before 20 August 2018.
In their 31 July letter, copied to President Hage Geingob, former President Sam Nujoma, former President Hifikepunye Pohamba and Swapo party vice president Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, amongst others, the members asked why there are still no steps taken on their election petition addressed to Shaningwa earlier in 2018.
On 12 February 2018, four Swapo members, namely Nambata Angula (an executive member of Swapo's Windhoek East district), Mirjam Shituula, Selma Nambago and Seth Boois (suspended Kalkrand Village Council's chief executive officer) demanded an independent audit into the elections outcome of the party's 6th elective congress held in November last year.
However, in his response on August 17, Conradie wrote to Angula, Shituula, Boois and Namboga that they do not recognise the structure and authorities installed subsequent to and as a result of the election outcome of the congress.
“Our client emphatically maintains that these structures and authorities are de facto and legally installed, and therefore are constitutionally recognized structures and authority in place in terms party constitution and to which all contesting candidates to the 6th Swapo party congress publicly expressed their acceptance and support,” he wrote.
Approached for comment on Thursday, Swapo Secretary-general, Sophia Shaningwa dismissively said she does not have time entertain any conflictual issues regarding this matter.
“I don’t have time for unnecessary fights. I am not interested in anything that bars me from attaining my goals.”
Conradie refused to shed more light on the party position saying, “I am not going to deal with my client’s state in the newspapers but what I am saying is that they don’t recognize the structure and authority.”


The Windhoek Observer is an English-language weekly newspaper, published in Namibia by Paragon Investment Holding. It is the country's oldest and largest circulating weekly.

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