What difference will they make? ... read about what Swapo top 4 candidates say
With the Swapo Party elective congress just around the corner and after 11 leaders accepted nominations for the top 4 positions; the biggest question could be: what difference will they make this time around?
This is so because all of them have been in the party structures for close to 40 years or more yet most do not have anything to show for having been there.
There is former Prime Minister Nahas Angula, youth minister Jerry Ekandjo, Swapo information secretary and former finance minister Helmuth Angula, and immigration minister Pendukeni Iivula-Ithana.
There is also the former deputy health minister Petrina Haingura, businesswoman Martha Namundjembo-Tilahun, international relations minister Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, Oshikoto regional coordinator Armas Amukwiyu, former deputy prime minister Marco Hausiku and Sophia Shaningwa.
None is new and just what do they have to offer this time around?
Nahas Angula (presidential candidate)
I am not competing with anybody. I have my views. Firstly, views about the state of our SWAPO Party and the views of our country Namibia.
Both the party and the state are not functioning very well. We need to renew them starting from the party. We have to reprioritise and think about how we do business. The party must have a structure to guide its members.
We must have a good view or ideology which guides us as members. We do not want people to join the party just to get a job or a tender.
The SWAPO tradition is that we all have to work for a common goal for all the people.
SWAPO party was formed on the principles of solidarity of freedom and justice, those are the founding values of SWAPO, and they remain valid today as they were in the late 60s.
Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah (vice presidential candidate)
Of course, we are both party member, but we had different responsibilities at different times.
I have grown up in SWAPO not only as a member but as a leader as you might recall I left this country in 1974. I held the position of secretary of the SWAPO Party Youth League in the Ovamboland.
Upon arriving back, I joined the leadership where I served as a chief representative in Zambia and Tanzania, and I was able to perform the task given to me without fail.
This is because I am guided by Swapo's firm principles, particularly the party constitution and the politburo. Even after I returned from exile, all the assignments given to me, I have performed them very well.
SWAPO and Namibian people have invested in me, and they have to reap their investment. We know that since independence a lot has been achieved and there is still more to be done. We have seen that poverty levels have gone down, but poverty is always there that is why the President has put in place the Harambee Prosperity Plan.
Pendukeni Iivula-Ithana (vice presidential candidate)
This is a milestone in the history of the party. We put to practice what we preach, which is a democracy.
We nominate each other on the account that one is not superior to the other. We all participated in the liberation struggle one way or the other.
The majority of us share the same background, and we made different contributions. We have youngsters. We groomed them in the party. They are capable.
SWAPO party was created to cater for the interest of the members of our society so it is a workers' party who should carry the interest of the community at large.
Petrina Haingura (deputy secretary general candidate)
I am a child of this party, and since I was born, I suffered. I know that the party’s constitution should be respected. I like to unify people. That is one reason I have been nominated because of the talent I was given to unite people and to work with everybody. Unity is one of my principals, which we need to preach.
What is to be done now is to unify the people so we can work together for economic emancipation. We need to make sure that inequality is obliterated. Some people are getting richer while others are getting poorer. How can we bring this down? We have our manifesto and the NDP5 and all these documents to see how we can fight poverty.
Armas Amukwiyu (secretary general candidate)
We are all members of the party. However, I think what perhaps differentiate me from the rest is my leadership motto which I will also demonstrate once elected.
I believe in genuine consultation and I believe in collective leadership and mine will be taking responsibility in all aspects, so I know the secretary-general position comes with substantial challenges. I know with the assistance and involvement of everybody, it will not be my challenge but the challenge of every party member.
I will create an environment where all Swapo Party members will feel that their views and opinions are recognised and taken into consideration.
The party should take the lead in every process that is the challenge to the society collectively and not as individuals.
Martha Namundjembo–Tilahun (deputy secretary-general candidate)
I was nominated because of the trust and confidence that the people have in me. I am capable of what needs to be done so being the child of the party I have been trained to deal with this type of position.
I will take it as a challenge and will make the party to the next level especially in economic emancipation as well as the empowering the nation.
I am a unifier, and I don’t take anything personal therefore I follow the ideology of the party and in SWAPO there is no loser we are all winners.
The party is no longer on the level of fighting, so we are aiming for the next level.
Jerry Ekandjo (presidential candidate)
I will only talk to you after the congress. I do not want to talk now; please call me after the congress.
The Villager Newspaper made efforts to contact other nominees but to no avail.