Two of the four Swapo Party Youth League (SPYL) cadres nominated to contest positions in the Swapo party Central Committee expressed that they are energized and ready to test the waters and fight it out at the looming congress.
Nominations were made over the past weekend, ahead of a politburo crunch meeting Monday afternoon that also threw the ball in the court of a several women politicians and ultimately locking Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila in “congress combat” with her deputy, Netumbo Nandi Ndaitwah.
The four from SPYL are Hofni Ipinge, Christine Haindaka, Willem Amutenya and Ndahafa Hapulile.
“This is a party culture where you have congress every five years and it is attended by all the wings and also members of the party itself. So, my nomination from the wing, from the youth league is a culture. The youth league has to send or delegate four candidates as their representatives at the national congress to be voted in the CC of the party.”
“So, the women’s council also sent, the elders’ council also sent and all of us collectively as a party we will meet at the congress for the top four and also for the members of the CC. It’s the culture and it has been happening like that,” said Ipinge.
The SPYL nominations have however been criticized as not being an ideal representation of the party’s tribal make.
However, Amutenya, another nominee amongst the four, said their names are the product of an elective process and not a deliberate cherry-picking exercise.
“Remember we are 16 that are going to congress as delegates. Amongst the 16 four of us were then elected to be Central Committee candidates. We are not the only four to go to congress. Our major responsibility and assignment is that we have to go and contest to get into the CC of the Swapo party representing the young people.”
“Surely, the expectation of young people is that our country and our leaders should have by now an understanding of the needs of youth inclusivity in the leadership structure. Therefore the expectation of every young person and member of the Swapo party is to see the young people merging and being part of the list of the CC. To be on the decision making table in order to respond to the political, social and economic dynamics that we are experiencing today,” said Willem Amutenya.
Amutenya is also fresh from unsuccessfully contesting for the leadership position of the youth chapter, which was handed to Ephraim Nekongo on a silver platter, without contestation.
The Young Turk has also spoken out against the so-called Helmut Angula amendments which bar anyone from the race for the party’s top four positions if they have not been a member for 20 years and a central committee member for 10 years, uninterrupted.
“We must not have policies, 32 years after independence that are excluding a certain generation or excluding a certain group or members of the society. We should not have such policies at all! Policies that we are formulating at all corners of our leadership must be as inclusive as possible and providing equal opportunities to every generation, to every group of the society. What we need to concentrate on is capacity, surely,” he said.
The Swapo party is in the meantime looking forward to a weekend CC meeting which is expected to review and possibly edit the list of top four candidates put up by the politburo.