Newly elected Swapo Party secretary general, Sophia Shaningwa has denied that the demotion of several councilors, including a deputy mayor of Walvis Bay was a political purge.
The demotions of Fransina Kahungu of the Windhoek Local Authority, Hilka Erastus and Tobias Nambala of the Walvis Bay Local Authority has led to speculation that the SG had fixed anti-Geingob supporters.
Speaking exclusively to The Villager, Shaningwa said these were not even demotions but a mere restructuring exercise which should not see those who lost their positions being treated as less honourable.
“I really do not call it demotion. Demotion is what the people are saying. We just made some structural adjustment in our structures as far as portfolios are concerned. Those people are still honourable councilors. All of them, when they were elected, they were elected as honourable councilors, they are still honourable councilors,” said the secretary general.
She, however, hit back at public opinion which criticised the restructuring process saying that nobody was elected as a mayor by the general public first and foremost.
“Today you are a mayor and after tomorrow you are an ordinary councilor, after whatever you are in a management committee. These are positions in Swapo that are being changed. It’s not the first time that they got changed. It’s not also the last time where you see people making changes like these,” she said.
On whether due procedure had been followed to justify possible incompetence on the part of those that lost positions, Shaningwa did not come out clear.
However, The Villager pressed her on the possibility of these changes coming back to haunt the call for unity especially since some of those stripped of their positions had been openly not in support of the president.
Eluding the question, Shaningwa re-emphasised that positions can never be personalized.
“Comrade I do not want you to thrust where you are not supposed to thrust issues. I told you that nobody of those people were elected (by) the public. When do we say there are elections of local authority councilors? What I am saying is that nobody can claim that (a) mayoral position is my position etcetera. If its members of parliament we were just elected as members of parliament,” she stamped.