With jostling for positions having started in Swapo, ahead of its 2017 elective congress, Oshikoto Regional Coordinator Armas Amukwiyu maintains that he has no ambitions to take up a senior role, including the powerful secretary general post.
Amukwiyu, who was key in President Hage Geingob’s rise to power during the 2012 SWAPO elective Congress, was seen as a frontrunner for the SG post, which is currently held by Nangolo Mbumba, who is on record saying that he will step down at the end of his current term in 2017.
The SWAPO king maker said on Thursday that he was happy to remain in the lower structures of the party.
“Secretary for the Swapo Party and achieve what? I am happy where I am .Currently my mandate is to be regional coordinator, and I am happy to coordinate the party and to be a messenger of SWAPO at that level,” he told the Windhoek Observer.
“I have not spoken to anyone about that, neither have I lobbied anybody, including my fellow regional coordinators.”
When asked whether he will consider the role if nominated, Amukwiyu dismissed any such talk.
“I don’t even want to entertain that. Congress is still very far, and anyway why should people start to make it an issue,” he said.
Amukwiyu, who has now turned to cattle farming in Otjiwarongo, said he is proud to be a land owner, but remains disturbed by the imbalances in land ownership in the country.
“If it was within my power, I would expropriate Erindi and give the land to thousands of Namibians that lost their land during the genocide and the long bitter struggle. We should not be apologetic about getting the land,” he said.
On his relationship with the president, which is said to have gone sour, the youthful leader said he remains supportive of Geingob’s role as president of the party and the country.
“It’s not about Hage and Armas, but about the SWAPO Party and Namibia. Where are you getting it from that I have fallen out of favour, because it’s not from me or him, so who?” he asked.
“I support him as the leader of the party and the president of the country. It’s not about me, but about those who voted at the 2012 SWAPO Congress and in the general elections in 2014.”
He said there was nothing amiss with him having volunteered to organise Founding Father Dr Sam Nujoma’s 87th birthday, a move which analysts interpreted as showing the rift between him and Geingob.
“Sam Nujoma is a leader of everyone and the Father of the Nation. He is the father of everybody, and on that basis it does not become a case of whether I should be party to organising his birthday, but it’s my way of saying thank you for all that he has done for us, that’s all,” the Swapo regional coordinator said.
“Nobody can take me away from Sam Nujoma, nobody.”
It is further alleged that the former Geingob confidante has even been making overtures to his erstwhile political enemy, former Swapo Party Youth League (SPYL) Secretary Dr Elijah Ngurare, which he denied.
“I have not done that. That is not true. I have not made any move to reach out to him that is not true. Ask those that are saying that,” Amukwiyu said.
“Even if we were to meet Ngurare, he is a member of the party and a comrade, so why must it be arranged?”
On the readmission of Ngurare, Job Amupanda, Dimbulukeni Nauyoma and George Kambala into the party, after having been expelled and taking SWAPO to the High Court, he said that he stands guided by the party position.
“The four brothers, that’s what I call them, because on a personal level I have no problem with them. In fact, when we meet, we talk to each other. We honour the court ruling and the party has accepted them back into the party.
“Justice has been done. Why should I apply my personal view if the matter was before a competent court?”