In a twist that could impact on the SWAPO Party elective congress candidates’ list, the Windhoek High Court on Thursday ruled that the decision by the National Union of Namibian Workers (NUNW) to remove, Ismael Kasuto as the organisation’s president, stands.
The decision could now pave the way for former SWAPO Party Youth League Secretary, Elijah Ngurare, to attend congress and run for the ruling party’s secretary general position, after his initial attempts were blocked by the Central Committee, citing the leadership dispute in the union.
This comes after the ruling party had received two contradicting delegate lists for its elective congress in November, with one coming from NUNW Secretary General, Job Muniaro with Ngurare as one of the nominees and delegates.
The other list came from Kasuto despite his removal from the helm of the union.
The NUNW which is allowed to nominate delegates to the ruling party congress had, under Muniaro, supported Ngurare’s nomination.
Ngurare said the court ruling was a vindication of the NUNW and its list of delegates to the SWAPO congress.
“Therefore to answer your question as to what this means now that the High Court ruled against Ismael Kasuto, my answer remains that the ball is still in the court of Dr Hage Geingob to either continue exhibiting dictatorial tendencies or choose to follow the SWAPO Party constitution.
“We await with keen interest what the Politburo and Central Committee meetings will decide next week. What is no longer in doubt is that I will at last be a congress delegate by virtue of being a NAPWU Member,” Ngurare said.
The former youth leader said it was not by accident that SWAPO Acting President, Hage Geingob, refused the list of congress delegates from the NUNW.
“It was deliberate. It was similarly intentional that he humiliated Comrade Peter Nevonga by removing him from attending the Central Committee meeting of SWAPO Party as a duly appointed representative of NUNW. No reasonable leader of SWAPO Party at any level would invite Ismael Kasuto in total disregard of the official correspondence from NUNW. It is clear that Dr Hage Geingob backed Ismael Kasuto to do all the wrong things he was doing, including blocking the list of NUNW congress delegates, “he said.
“Both Comrade Armas Amukwiyu and myself knew that we faced a possibility of being blocked by Dr Hage Geingob as we stood to contest for the position of secretary general. I am happy he went through and I took note that Dr Geingob decided to disregard my nomination and secondment for the position of secretary general.”
Although the ruling party had not pronounced its position on Ngurare’s candidature following the court ruling by the time of going to print, with Secretary General Nangolo Mbumba’s phone not reachable, insiders say the party could be forced to include him as a delegate and accept his candidature for the secretary general position.
Youthful Oshikoto regional coordinator, Armas Amukwiyu and Urban and Rural Development Minister, Sophia Shaningwa, who is on President Hage Geingob list of preferred candidates, are the other candidates vying for the Secretary General position.
Kasuto approached the courts challenging the decision by the NUNW structures to legitimately remove him from the helm of the union which he had led since his election in May 2015.
In his judgement, High Court Judge, Boas Usiku, interdicted and restrained Kasuto, from conducting himself as the president of NUNW, attending any meeting or gathering under the name of the NUNW and from entering the union’s offices in Katutura.
The former NUNW leader was also ordered to pay the costs of the suit for both legal representatives, and further interdicted and restrained from using in any manner the NUNW’s letterhead, electronic device or any other communication device either electronic or otherwise, on behalf of the union.