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SWAPO is not a club, It is a political party – Iivula- Ithana

by Rodney Pienaar

Team Swapo’s top brass Pendukeni Iivula-Ithana and Helmut Angula have scoffed at the former official opposition leader Katuutire Kaura’s joining the party as ill-advised and agreed upon without proper consultation with party elders. 

It is highly speculated within party circles that Kaura, who dragged along with him into the Swapo Party 34 of his relatives, is eyeing the vacant governor position of Kunene, once held by the now late war-veteran Angelika Muharukua.

Kaura has vehemently denied these allegations. 

“I am not in any position. It is a naked lie just to say it categorically, and exclusively it is an absolute naked lie. 

“There is no time set to join any political party, anybody can join a party whenever they like,” he jabbed.

Kaura has gone as far as to ask if Swapo has a programmed time at which members can join while he further rubbished allegations against him as “idiotic lies”. 

But Iivula-Ithana had none of it and had stuck knives out against those who let him in at a Geingob rally. 

“I have great respect for Kaura, but SWAPO is not a club of friends, it is a political party,” she fumed.

She has suggested the timing of his entrance as highly suspicious and him rubbing shoulders with party big-wigs after years as a political rival as rather “disturbing. 

 The home affairs minister further tore into Kaura as bringing no material value to the party while suggesting that he might be eyeing the juicy position in the Kunene region.

“He should have joined SWAPO when he had influence. SWAPO is not a nursing home. Honestly speaking I don’t know the value that he will add to SWAPO. 

“Should this be true what people are suspecting that he wants the position of the governor, then that is very disheartening,” she said.

The suspicions have further been fueled by Kaura’s track-record as an adviser to the late Muharukua.  

“I hope this is not being done opportunistically to undo deserving SWAPO party members that can potentially be appointed to become the next governor of Kunene region after the departure of the late governor,” Iivula-Ithana said.

Kaura’s entrance has been defined by the minister as coming at the “worst time of the congress. 

“If it was genuine this thing could have been brought before the leadership, and a collective decision would have been made.  This whole thing smells of deviousness, and everybody can see that this thing is not genuine,” she said.  

Intensifying her barrage of attacks, Iivula-Ithana said, “We have credible long time serving members and how will they feel if Kaura is appointed as the governor.”  

She said Kaura was not genuine and he could have joined Swapo at some other time and not in this highly volatile political climate.

“If it was genuine, Kaura could have joined the party long time before even way before the governor of Kunene passed on,” she said.   

She has also scoffed at Kaura’s no-show at the height of the liberation struggle saying that “he was doing whatever he was doing somewhere else.”  

“It could have been wise if he remained where he was and not joined the party when he saw there is an opening to benefit,” she jeered.

She has categorically stated that the position of governor for Kunene can and will be filled by long-serving members.

“We have been in the (trenches) for a long time, and we know who has served the party tirelessly over the years. Some of us have stood up against all the odds to say that the party is being destroyed from within”

“Kaura is not an ordinary person, and this issue could have been placed before the leadership for us to exchange views, we have never received somebody like him. Not because of his value but his track record,” she lashed out.   

Information and mobilisation secretary for Swapo, Helmut Angula, has also shot at the entrance of Kaura into Swapo.

“It is not wise that Kaura had to be taken on board at this decisive time. There were others that came before, and we had taken collective decisions as party members to take a person of this calibre on board,” he said. 

He has questioned the agenda behind his being committed to the ruling party.

“I don’t think that Kaura’s joining the party is special that it was not discussed. He was the leader of the opposition party so what plans can he have for the SWAPO party’s progress. However, I can guarantee you that whatever negative plans he has as an individual will not succeed at all,” said Angula.