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Namises Says No Gender Equality In Swapo VP Race

…paints nomination as a tactic to blindfold Namibians

By: Hertha Ekandjo

Human rights activist Rosa Namises says that making two females compete for the vice president (VP) position in the Swapo party does not display gender equality.

This comes as the much anticipated Swapo politburo meeting has nominated prime minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila and her deputy, Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah to battle it out for the much-coveted vice president position ahead of the party’s congress in November.

According to Namises, it would have been better if one was made Swapo president while the other vice president.

“These women were supposed to be candidates for the presidency in the party, one must become the Swapo party president,” she said.

On Monday politburo nominations for the Swapo top leadership nominees also Sophia Shaningwa and Armas Amukwiyu for the secretary-general position, and Lucia Witbooi, David Hamutenya, and Evelyn Nawases-Tayele for deputy.

“For me, it is strange that they are not made candidates for the presidency and vice president, why is it that they both are put as vice president? Congress will elect a president for the party, for the next term. That for me is very strange that they are just given the positions as vice presidents,” said Namises.

She noted that when it comes to equity and gender balance Kuugongelwa-Amadhila and Nandi-Ndaitwa were supposed to be given different positions. “One can be the president of the party and the other the vice president”.

Namises expressed that this nomination was used to blindfold the people so they get excited thinking that gender equality was being played out.

“I want to look at it a little bit deeper. I want to know why those two candidates have been put there. In the past, there were two candidates, president Geingob and vice president Nangolo Mbumba, who were divided for party presidency and presidency, but now there are two females,” Namises complained.

In November 2017, President Hage Geingob became the third president of Swapo after winning by a large margin at the party’s 6th Congress

She questioned why Kuugongelwa-Amadhila and Nandi-Ndaitwa were not separated as Geingob and Mbumba were.

The activist stated that she would not get excited, but sees that there was consideration for women within the Swapo party but it was not exclusive.

Furthermore, she stamped that this was just for the two female vice presidents to fight each other as they are placed in one position.

“It is not good like that, I think it is beautiful if they are separated in positions and talk about sharing their wins,” she expressed.

Meanwhile, political analyst Ndumba Kamwanyah says that people who are usually nominated through the politburo were always successful compared to those nominated by the central committee, thus whether the central committee would utter the nominees or not does matter.

“Looking at that, I think that they stand a chance to go beyond the central committee nominations. But there might be some surprises and we might see some people also being nominated at that level including during the congress itself,” he said.

He further said that from a political analyst’s point of view they will end up with that composition that the politburo provided.

Kamwanyah emphasised that there was a likelihood that Swapo would be choosing female candidates for the national presidency and that there was a high chance for Swapo to win the presidential elections.

In addition, the nominations have also skipped Swapo stalwarts who for the longest time have been speculated to be in the running and these include defense minister, Frans Kapofi, Central Committee member and former Namibia Wildlife Resorts (NWR) boss, Tobie Aupindi, and party chairperson of the leaders assigned to Khomas region tourism minister, Pohamba Shifeta.

Shifeta when The Villager reached out to him said he never wanted to be nominated.

“Who said that I want to be part of the nominations,” he questioned.

Hertha Ekandjo

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