SWAPO to elect new leaders

31 August 2018 Author   Eliaser Ndeyanale

In a rather surprising and unprecedented move, the ruling SWAPO Party has announced that it will hold a new round of elections in October, less than a year after party leaders were voted into office. In a rather surprising and unprecedented move, the ruling SWAPO Party has announced that it will hold a new round of elections in October, less than a year after party leaders were voted into office. 

Deputy Secretary General, Marco Hausiku, told the Windhoek Observer during an exclusive interview on Thursday, that the party will go through changes which will see the election of new leaders before the end of October this year.
Hausiku said the party will elect new section, branch, district and regional leaders in a bid to harmonize their terms of office with those of other elected leaders and also to eliminate many of the problems of infighting that the party is facing. 
According to Hausiku, leaders who are being remunerated for their work such as regional coordinators and who still have time before their current terms expire will receive golden handshakes. 
“We have decided to do this thing the right way at the right time,” he said, adding that he has already met up with leaders assigned to the regions to brief them about the process.
He said the whole electoral process is expected to be completed within a week. 
The SWAPO deputy SG further said that the party will also introduce a new system dealing with completion of terms. 
He said as an example, if a regional coordinator dies, the person who will replace him will complete the remaining term of the deceased as opposed to the current party tradition that the successor serves for five years before the elections. 
“Yesterday (Wednesday), I met all the national leaders assigned to the regions; they are preparing the process of renewing the party mandate called renewal of mandate. The politburo has approved the programme and every position is going to be contested,” Hausiku said.
The envisaged elections, however, seem to be in violation of the party’s constitution, which states that only the congress has the power to set party rules.
“The congress shall have the power to set the policy of the party, review and asses the overall activities and development of the party,” the SWAPO constitution states. 
Asked about the party’s extraordinary congress slated for November this year, Hausiku said delegates to last year’s elective congress will take part in this year’s congress which will deliberate on constitutional amendments that were proposed last year and could not be enforced at the time. 
SWAPO’s Oshikoto Regional Coordinator, Armas Amukwiyu, told the Windhoek Observer on Thursday that he was not aware of the pending elections. 
“I am not aware of that. As far as I know my position is not up for grabs because I was elected last year,” he said.
Omusati Regional Coordinator, Sacky Kayone, said the envisaged process is not necessarily meant to elect new leaders per se, but to ensure that all regional leader’s term of office are harmonized and are at par with the others.
“The reason is to avoid many elective meetings, for example, in one year,” Kayone said.
Kavango East Regional Coordinator, Otillie Shinduvi, contradicted Hausiku’s version, saying only section, branch and district leaders’ positions will be harmonized since the terms of office for regional coordinators are on par with the other positions.  
“Maybe he meant section, branch and district positions because regional coordinators’ term of office are already harmonized. We had district executive meetings last year in our respective regions where we were elected. Now the party is trying to harmonize the sections, branches and districts,” she said. 

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