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By: Uakutura Kambaekua

The SWAPO Party Youth League (SPYL) in the Kunene region has commenced with its district elective conference on Saturday and Sunday before the regional elective congress slated for June. The congress started with the Opuwo rural constituency.

SPYL’s Kunene youth league wing secretary Tuaakoveni Mocks Kenaumue told the Villager newspaper on Sunday that the party has completed the restructuring of sections and branches and has thus moved on to the constituency level to elect the top three leadership positions.

These are the district secretary, mobiliser and treasurer while also nominating candidates for the regional congress.

Kenaumue said that the regional executive conference would kick off immediately after completing the district restructuring on 25 June in Outjo. “We anticipate that by the weekend of the 25 June, then we will be ready to complete our regional executive elective congress,” he said.

Swapo was heavily defeated during the 2020 regional and local authority elections, losing a significant number in some key constituencies they have established as their home ground in the past. The ruling party remained with only one constituency in the Kunene region (Outjo) while losing grip on its capital town Opuwo to PDM and Kamanjab to UDF.

The 2020 adverse results, according to the regional party leadership, came as a result of the division within the party prior to the 2019 party congress.

To this, Kenaumue stated that they must elect leaders that will revive the party back to its glory days.

“It’s important that we select and elect leaders who will revive the party and regain our lost constituency. The youth league is the arms and feet of the party, so we need young people willing to advocate for the programs and sell out programs that the government provides in the respective constituency. As a Swapo party youth league, we have groomed and mentored, and I think we have what it takes to take the party to greater heights,” added Kenaumue.

Kenaumue added that although the party is democratic, vetting should be done before candidates are filtered to ascertain that contesting candidates possess leadership skills and capabilities. He said that future “wannabe leaders” should thus be ultraconservative members and be present at most events. He urged the youth to rally behind the party and not just surface during election times.

“Swapo is a democratic party, and before we filter a candidate who will stand as regional councillor or local authority, we go through a process of first-time nomination from different branches. We then vet to see if these candidates have what it takes to be a regional councillor or local authority councillor. We should always be with the party through thick and thin and accept democracy because once we are there within the party, it’s always easier to be given a chance at the top leadership position,” noted Kenaume.

Regarding the 2024 elections, which will determine whether a female President will lead the country for the first time in its history, Kenaume said it’s too early to postulate. He, however, believes and advocates for a female president and a non-Oshiwambo President for a change.

Julia Heita

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