Internal Affairs

Swanu in good hands with Kaaronda: Iijambo

Summary

Former Swanu president Tangeni Iijambo is confident that the country’s oldest political formation is in good hands under the stewardship of former unionist, Evalistus Kaaronda.Kaaronda was elected as Swanu president at a contentious congress outside Wi…

Former Swanu president Tangeni Iijambo is confident that the country’s oldest political formation is in good hands under the stewardship of former unionist, Evalistus Kaaronda.

Kaaronda was elected as Swanu president at a contentious congress outside Windhoek over the weekend.

“We had our congress but we were being disturbed by these renegades who unfortunately didn’t succeed because we locked them out,” Iijambo told Nampa on Tuesday upon inquiry.

Iijambo described it as a smooth handover of power from an ‘Old Guard to a Young Turk’.

“He [Kaaronda] was also my choice of replacement. We always talk about the young being the future. But in practice, we don’t do it. I believe in change,” he said.

At 67, Iijambo is of the view that he must create space for fresh blood.

In political circles, Kaaronda’s character has been questioned while his meteoric rise to the pinnacle of the Swanu hierarchy has been met with consternation by some quarters.

It took Kaaronda less than a year, from joining the party and being appointed as its secretary-general, to becoming president.

There is equally a section that considers Kaaronda a political opportunist.

In 2019, the veteran unionist was at the helm of People Organised Working for Economic Reality (POWER), an abandoned political project that was being bankrolled by businessman Michael Amushelelo.

Amushelelo has since joined the Namibia Economic Freedom Fighters.

However, the man who brought Kaaronda into the Swanu fold is optimistic in the midst of the chaos.

“Whether you joined Swanu at its inception in 1959 or five years ago, your rights are equal,” he said.

According to Iijambo, the former unionist’s work for Swanu since joining has been impeccable.

As for Iijambo’s future in the National Assembly, the status quo will remain for him to see through his five years as a Member of Parliament. This is while former Swanu leader, Usutuaije Maamberua, had to vacate his parliamentary seat to pave way for Iijambo with almost two years remaining.

Attempts to get comments from Kaaronda were futile.

Last month, Swanu presidential claimant Charles Katjivirue accused the Iijambo faction of veering from the ethos and values of the party.

“We wish to state loud, bold and clear that these comrades, despite being Swanu members, are not politically fit at this stage to lead the party… We will not allow shaky characters to run Swanu,” he said.

The Katjivirue faction, Nampa understands, was barred from congress.

Source: The Namibian Press Agency