Youth tsunami tips the scales

29 August 2014 Author  

front Youth 29 augWindhoek is abuzz as Swapo party members from all the 14 regions have streamed into the capital for the party’s much-anticipated electoral college that will take place at the Safari Hotel from Friday. As many as 204 delegates will attend the electoral college, the majority of whom come from the regions, numbering 98. Sixty-six (66) consist of current members of the national assembly, six from the Elders Council, six from the youth wing, ten from Women’s Council and six from the National Union of Namibian Workers (NUNW).


At the electoral college, the Swapo party selects its candidates to appear on the party’s list of nominees for the National Assembly – now increased from 72 to 96– and for the first time members will vote in a block to implement the 50:50 gender balance policy.

Continuing the trend that emerged at the 2012 elective congress, delegates from the regions appear to hold the balance of power to either secure the victory of certain individuals or ensure the failure of others.

Party inside sources have indicated that the regional delegates, who will come to the weekend convention already compliant with the newly adopted 50:50 gender representation, will sway the votes in the direction of a younger generation of leaders.

Swapo party regional coordinators have reportedly been hard at work over the past few months ensuring that delegates from the regions are clear on this agenda.

The recently passed constitutional amendments have brought about an enlarged National Assembly that will now make the party list more accommodating to the ‘old guard’.

However, inevitably many of them will fall to the bottom of the list.

For the first time in the history of the party it appears as if what some have termed a youth tsunami is about to take the convention by storm, with the emergence of a fresh crop of both younger technocrats and political leaders.

These include the likes of Sacky Shanghala, Natangwe Ithete, Agnes Kafula, Clinton Swartbooi and Sydney !Ganeb.

Party insiders expect people such as Mze Kazapua, Paul Kooper, Lucia Ipumbu, Shanghala, Ithete and Swartbooi to appear high up on the party list and in doing so replace people like Lempy Lucas, Rosalia Nghidinwa and Petrus Iilonga.

The enlargement of the National Assembly brought about by the recent constitutional amendments might have bittersweet consequences, as a larger party parliamentary list could ensure the retention the deadwood the party designed the Electoral College to flush out.

Now that the constitution has enlarged the parliamentary list from 72 to 96 members it makes provision for an additional 24 members whose political lived would have ended in previous years.

With this brand new lifeline thrown at the old guard, Geingob now has the additional pressure to appoint and assign an entire flock of the old guard who without the amendments would have been on their way home.

According to the Secretary General of the Swapo Party Nangolo Mbumba, a handful of leaders have written to his office to express that they have no interest in standing for election at the pot this coming weekend.

However, it is clear that this handful of retired politicians will not make things any easier for the frontrunner for the country’s presidency.

Windhoek Observer investigations have revealed that President Pohamba’s list of ten candidates comprises of Frans Kapofi, Christine //Hoabes, Hamunera Hambyuka, Engel Nawatiseb, Anna Nghipondoka, Anna Shigwedha, Tom Alweendo, Maureen Hinda, James Sankwasa, and Maureen Jankowski.
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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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