Parliamentarian Hits Out at Backstabbers

SWAPO Member of Parliament Alexiah Manombe-Ncube has blasted female parliamentarians who make mockery of women empowerment reforms and use them as self-enrichment schemes.

Manombe-Ncube made the remarks in the National Assembly on Wednesday during a debate on women in politics and decision-making positions in Namibia.

“To be frank, some women are making a mockery of the reforms that we are aocating and unless we have a change of heart with ourselves, our efforts are in vain,” she said.

Her comments come ahead of Swapo central committee meeting today where the 5050 gender representation in all structures of the party is expected to take centre stage.

The MP said women disregard the potential of their fellow counterparts. “In fact, some women have demonstrated no confidence in other women and have, in the process, derailed the agenda for gender equality. Such women work around the clock to distract others, blocking opportunities presented to their fellow women.”

She urged women to desist from being hypercritical of other women and be true to the cause of women empowerment.

“Women empowerment is not about few but women from all walks of life. Women empowerment is not a self-enrichment scheme, but a massive potential to yield greater results for nation building,” she said.

Deputy Minister of Gender Equality and Child Welfare Angelika Muharukua also called for the need to speed up the 5050 representation in all political parties saying that government should look at providing incentives such as extra funding for political parties that comply with the 5050 quota.

The Namibian understands that a motion to delay the implementation of the zebra-list system is expected to be introduced from the floor during the Swapo meeting today. Those who want it delayed argue that the party still needs to come up with modalities around the implementation of the 5050 strategy.

The issue of women not having faith in fellow women has dominated the party over the years, and came to the fore at the party elective congress where former Swapo secretary general Pendukeni Iivula-Ithana managed to a paltry 64 votes out of more than 500 delegates in the vice president’s contest.

She lost to Hage Geingob who got 312 votes, followed by Jerry Ekandjo, who managed 220 votes.

Iivula-Ithana told The Namibian after the congress that she deserved better than the votes she got.

“I expected more [votes] than that. Everybody I spoke to agreed that they would vote for me but I guess some of them did not have the courage to tell me that they would not vote for me,” she said.

Although she was endorsed by the Swapo Party Women’s Council (SPWC) as their candidate, the wing’s secretary, Petrina Haingura, turned her back on Iivula-Ithana and publicly declared her support for Ekandjo.

In 2007, the SPWC resolved to start pushing the party’s leadership to change the constitution so that women would make up half of the representatives in decision-making bodies and in Parliament.

Source : The Namibian