The final day of the Swapo party’s 7th Congress was overflowing with allegations of bribery hours before the delegates in attendance headed to the polling booths to vote for the contesting candidates for the positions of vice president, secretary general and deputy secretary general.
This comes after the media reports show that the current Swapo SG Sophia Shaningwa questioned the credibility of the congress elections in which she says some delegates have been paid to pretend that they are blind at the voting booths.
However, when reached for comment Shaningwa denied that, saying,“It is all lies”.
Despite this, finance deputy minister and one of the observers for the Swapo party 7th congress elections, Maureen Hinda told The Villagerin an interview that allegations of delegates being paid are evident at the congress.
Hinda told The Villagerthat they they had picked up from the media that there were three people who were offered payment but rejected it.
“What have these business people have to do with the Swapo congress? There are a lot of tenderpreneurs running up and down. Even the people selling their merchandise, their t-shirts and scarfs are saying that those who never have N$1 000 at the time are pulling out serious notes. N$1 000 dollars, thick pairs, and paying. So there is money flowing around congress which is true,” she said.
The Swapo parliamentarian said her observation is that of a party member, adding that she hopes this will make people understand that the party needs ethical leadership.
“What they are doing is they promise people a lot of things, like jobs and money now and balance later if we come through. You know it is rough. The one thing I want to emphasise as a citizen is that it is good if we sanitise our people to understand that corruption is wrong and evil whether you are caught or not. From a moral perspective, it is very unfair to us future generations,” Hindastressed.
She said that some fear paying someone but go vote differently. She also said that the printing of ballot papers and sealing were done very professional.
However, Swapo executive director Austin Samupwa has denied allegations that delegates are being paid at the Swapo party 7th congress.
Samupwa also said that he is not aware that the current SG is questioning the credibility of the congress election process, stressing that “there is nothing like that. It is not true.”
He said he could have seen the delegates being paid and that the party did not have a bribery issue at the congress.
“We did not hear about such an issue. It was not brought to our attention,” he said.
Meanwhile, political analyst Ndumba Kamwanyah said he was not surprised that the party is generating a kind of culture where people have to be paid to vote for someone.”It is dangerous for the party if it is true and proven that people are being bought with money. We know that people have been bought with money in 2017 so that culture seems to be continuing then it is a serious issue in terms of our democracy,” he said.
Kamwanyah said one wouldnot want a democracy where they are voted into power based on the “moola” you have.”It is not good for the country and for the party itself. I hope it is a false allegation,” he added.
When asked about what political parties should do when it comes to such issues, he said Swapo did well by putting up rules for the campaigns. However, he said, it seems the rules were not being adhered to.
“The problem is that the rules resulted in unintended consequences where the candidates or campaigns managers invented new ways to create their way to get support. There need to be some consistency and prearranged rules to prevent that kind of thing,” he advised.