Swapo Outcome Faces Challenge

SENIOR Swapo leaders are working behind closed doors on a petition to nullify the outcome of the recently concluded electoral college.

Various party sources confirmed yesterday that several consultations had taken place with the view of using Rule 77 of the party election rules to challenge the secret meeting which took place on Friday evening and which was attended by around 95 of the 204 delegates.

At that meeting a list was drawn up of ‘targets’ who were de-campaigned.

“Basically a de facto electoral college was formed within the electoral college and candidates were profiled for de-campaigning,” said one source.

According to the rules, anyone who wants to challenge the outcome of the electoral college has 90 days to do so.

Many are still getting to terms with the ‘pot’ outcome after some party stalwarts did not make it to positions which can guarantee them parliamentary seats.

The Namibian has learnt that tensions are high as anger has characterised the mood in the party over the past days.

Promises were made, campaigning and ‘de-campaigning’ meetings held, allegiances formed, back-stabbing, double agents, fallouts and purges, all characterised events within Swapo circles between last Thursday and yesterday. Bribes were allegedly also whispered in the ears of some.

Both party president Hifikepunye Pohamba and vice president Hage Geingob have been accused of having factions.

Swapo secretary general Nangolo Mbumba refused to comment on what he terms as allegations coming up three days later.

According to Mbumba, the college’s programme went well and everyone had the chance to vote.

Party sources said the Geingob A-team allegedly held a meeting at the Safari Hotel where fisheries minister Bernard Esau allegedly told those who did not support Geingob since 2012 to leave. Esau was contacted for comment but did not pick up his phone.

Esau, veterans minister Nickey Iyambo, Law Reform and Development Commission chairperson Sacky Shanghala, Swapo’s Oshikoto regional coordinator Armas Amukwiyu and Swapo youth league deputy secretary Veikko Nekundi, were allegedly the key drivers of the Geingob A-team compaign. Amukwiyu was allegedly the chairperson deputised by Nekundi.

Windhoek Mayor Agnes Kafula and MP Pieter van der Walt were accused of being spies for Jerry Ekandjo at the said meeting.

A list was allegedly drawn up with names to vote for and other names not to vote for. At the meeting, mines and energy deputy minister Willem Isaacks allegedly said contestants from the Karas region must not be voted for since they supported Ekandjo in 2012. Isaacks, however, also performed poorly. Nekundi allegedly also urged people not to vote for Karas governor Bernadus Swartbooi because he only started campaigning for Geingob after being instructed to do so by Pohamba. This was strange since Nekundi, Swartbooi and other SPYL members who participated, had pledged to support one another.

Amukwiyu’s cellphone reception was faulty and he promised to return calls, but by the time of going to press it had not materialised.

Hardap governor Katrina Hanse-Himarwa and National Council vice chairperson Margaret Mensah-Williams allegedly protested because she felt Swartbooi had skills which can be useful in the National Assembly. The two allegedly stormed out of the meeting and they too were ‘de-campaigned’.

As a result Swartbooi and Nekundi allegedly had an ugly fallout after Swartbooi confronted Nekundi with allegations of back-stabbing. The brawl allegedly also reached SPYL text messaging platforms.

Party sources said that the effects of the Friday night meeting could affect ministerial working relations in the new Cabinet.

Sources also claimed that it was at the said meeting where it was decided to vote out all of the party seniors deemed to have had ties with what used to be known as the Omusati clique.

Until yesterday Geingob was allegedly still putting out fires among unhappy members of his camp.

Pohamba’s role

While the Geingob A-team was busy planning its dominance, President Hifikepunye Pohamba allegedly also held his own meetings, at State House, planning to made sure his chosen ones make it high up the party list.

Pohamba’s team allegedly also produced a list of candidates. Party sources who attended the college said that Pohamba allegedly objected to suggestions by the presiding officer that delegates should not go into the voting booth with lists apart from ballot papers. Pohamba is said to have gotten his way and delegates were allowed to go into the booth with lists.

Some of the new faces, especially the youth, who made it high up the party list are believed to have benefited as a result of the two main centres of power cancelling each other out.

In 2012 Pohamba threw his weight behind Geingob.

Source : The Namibian