Mbumba breaks silence

21 August 2015 Author  

front 21  AugustSwapo Secretary General Nangolo Mbumba has broken his silence to set the record straight on a range of internal issues that have been haunting the party in recent days.

 

Mbumba has been at the centre of a number of controversies that have rocked the party in recent times making him an unpopular figure.

His unpopularity was highlighted when he announced the suspension from the party of the Affirmative Repositioning movement trio and former youth leader Elijah Ngurare.

But in an exclusive interview, Mbumba revealed that Swapo had tried to resolve amicably the dispute with the recently expelled members of its youth wing on more than one occasion.

He said the party made overtures to the four land activists and tried to resolve the differences they had in a procedural manner, prior to the expulsions.

“The party tried to solve the problem in two different ways. First, we brought the case before the party’s disciplinary committee headed by Ngarikutuke Tjiriange, which simply resulted in an exchange of letters back and forth between the two parties.

“Then we tasked a team under Meme Pendukeni to engage ‘our children’ as some would say, but not much came from that either, and eventually the politburo had to intervene,” Mbumba said.

Former Swapo Party Youth League (SPYL) Secretary Elijah Ngurare, Former SPYL Information and Publicity Secretary Job Amupanda and youth league members George Kambala and Dimbulukeni Nauyoma lodged a case against the party in the High Court on Monday.

In their application, the four are challenging Swapo’s decision to expel them from the party.

They claim the decision to expel them was unfair and unlawful and that the process used to arrive at the decision to expel them was in conflict with the Swapo constitution.


Mbumba said the quartet have the right to seek justice if they feel someone has deprived them of it, and that the party has a legal team that would handle the matter.

“Besides the party has other important things to focus on like the preparations for the upcoming Regional Council and Local Authority elections and ensuring our house is in order,” he said.

Amupanda argued this week in a press statement that their suspension by the ‘Top Four’ was illegal because it was carried out by an unconstitutional formation.

The Swapo SG highlighted that the term ‘Top Four’ was coined to represent the top four leadership positions of the party, and that it was by no means an official structure in the party.

“In the absence of congress the highest decision making body is the central committee followed by the politburo.

“However the ‘Top Four’ can make recommendations to these structures over which the party president presides,” Mbumba said.

The SG further came out in defence of the presence of the former Swapo President Hifikepunye Pohamba at politburo meetings.

Mbumba said Pohamba just as Founding President Sam Nujoma, has a permanent seat in the politburo and central committee.

“There is nothing wrong with him being present at any of the above-mentioned meetings. Yes, he stepped down of his own accord, but he also made himself available to us whenever we need his guidance,” he said.

Stop the insults

As the party spokesperson, Mbumba has found himself unpopular amongst sections of the youth wing of the party.

The SG said the personal attacks on him were laced with political motives and agendas.

“All others who have sat in this chair of SG over the years eventually became known as rough and tough, because that is what the job entails and very often that is what it requires.

“You speak on behalf of others and often have to make some not-so-nice announcements, and that is fine because it is part of the job.

“However, these attacks have nothing to do with being SG; this is personal,” Mbumba said.

He suggested that he has come under fire from certain groups in the party who have Agenda 2017 in mind.

Mbumba categorically stated that he has no ambition to run for the Swapo vice presidency come 2017.

“By 2017 I will have served the party for ten consecutive years as deputy SG and SG respectively and that will be enough.

“By the way the only person in Swapo who served as SG and went all the way to the top was President Pohamba, and I’m not him.

“President Geingob and I are the same age and thank goodness for that; therefore I cannot succeed him,” he said.

Mbumba called for an end to the insults that the youth have directed towards their seniors.

“I think all of us would like our country to remain at peace and enjoy the stability we have, so that we all form part of the development of our country, which in turn will lead to prosperity.

“I think there is no need for us to insult our leaders, because they have done their share and have brought us to where we are today.

“Furthermore, the party has passed resolutions that President Geingob has announced several times.

“We, as Africans, should stop insulting our former leaders; simply because someone is a former leader doesn’t mean they are no longer a leader.

“We should give them the respect they deserve, because so far nobody has left office and done wrong things,” Mbumba emphasised.

2017 Gender Balance

The SG also clarified issues surrounding the Swapo Party 2017 elective congress.

He said although the party had adopted the 50:50 gender representation policy this does not mean that it had to be in a zebra style fashion.

He explained that if the party elects Geingob as Swapo president in 2017, it does not automatically mean that the vice president would be a woman as long as there is an equal gender representation in the top four structures.

“Therefore, if President Geingob assumes the presidency and has a man as his deputy, all other male candidates would automatically fall out of the race for SG and Deputy SG, making it an all-female contest,” he said. – This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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