Rumours of New Party Causes Stir in North

Rumours of a newly formed political party in Okahao that started circulating a month ago have not only spread like wildfire on the popular social network Facebook but have also left the community of Okahao perturbed and the country at large in absolute confusion.

The Governor of Omusati Region Sofia Shaningwa, speaking on Saturday in Okahao at the 54th anniversary celebrations of Swapo, condemned the formation of what she termed “a tribalistic political party” and encouraged Namibians rather to unite and embrace the spirit of brotherhood and sisterhood.

“We must see each other as brothers and sisters. We must unite and speak in one voice. We should be able to laugh together and cry together when necessary,” said Shaningwa. Apart from evoking tribalistic emotions, the party has allegedly also defamed prominent personalities hailing from Okahao by linking them to the party without their consent. The names of eminent residents of the town were listed on the programme for a meeting of the newly formed Ongandjera People United Party. The gathering was scheduled to take place at the so-called Famous Tree in Okahao on Sunday. However, Andreas Kapuku, one the persons behind the Ongandjera People United Party said information circulating about the new political party has been blown out of proportion and that it was a mere misunderstanding of what was intended to be a social club.

Kapuku said the club aimed at sharing developmental information in Okahao, adding that perhaps the only thing that was not put right was the use of the word “party” in the title. “I am not a politician. I am a Swapo member by birth, so why should I create a party?” questioned Kapuku.

Shaningwa defined listing people’s names on the party’s list without their consent as character assassination. Shaningwa, who was referring to names of people on the programme, such as the King of Ongandjera, the councillor of Okahao and the Okahao Swapo district coordinator, among others, said those who were involved in listing those names would be called to order to clear the names of the affected people. The Councillor for Okahao, Isai Kapenambili, whose name featured on the list, denied being involved in the party when approached for comment by New Era. Kapenambili expressed dissatisfaction with his name appearing on the party’s list, saying he was not informed about being included on the programme. Swapo Okahao District Coordinator Leonard Shikulo said as a Swapo coordinator his duty was to protect the party’s constitution and fight or prevent the scourge of tribalism.

Shikulo said he had nothing to do with the new Ongandjera People United Party and that he heard about his name being on the party’s list “on the streets”. “I was not informed about the party or about my name on the list: I just heard of my name featuring on the programme on the streets,” said Shikulo. Kapuku said the name of the party was “temporary”. He said there was nothing tribalistic about creating a group aimed at yielding positive results. According to Kapuku the idea was to form a group of common people with common problems to discuss and tackle the shortcomings in Okahao and to further develop Okahao. “We simply wanted to bring people together and not to form any political party as alleged. The Kwaluudhis have Nambula yAmukatha – what is so wrong about that? It is just a cultural group,” said Kapuku. Kapuku denied having listed people in the programme without their consent. He said the people notified were all aware of the good initiative but suddenly made a U-turn. Kapuku said he wanted the nation to be fed with the correct information, adding that he wanted to make it clear that there was no new party – the idea was to bring people together and develop the town of Okahao.

Source : New Era