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By: Kelvin Chiringa

Beleaguered Swanu of Namibia president, Dr Tangeni Iijambo, said he will not be approaching the courts despite declaring the recently held extraordinary congress an illegality.

The other faction has dared him to approach the courts and threatened to take control of the headquarters.

Swanu is in the throes of a dispute over an extra-ordinary congress held last weekend.

“We did consult our lawyers. And their advice was that, just as I told you that there is no need to go for such rubbish to court.

“Our lawyers are going to stop them from using the party’s memorabilia, the logo and to claim that they are legitimate party leaders. Those letters, they must receive them either today (Wednesday) or tomorrow (Thursday,” he said.

However, former party president and chairperson at the extraordinary congress, Dr Rihupisa Kandando, said the new leadership is yet to write to the Speaker of Parliament for a recall.

But Iijambo said Professor Peter Katjavivi may not heed the letter if and when it comes.

“My brother, no one can remove a legitimate leader who was elected in a legitimate congress. The congress was illegal, so they do not have the power to remove anyone,” he said.

Iijambo said that his rivals are now threatening to take over the party’s head office in Katutura.

He has remained stuck to the seat of power within the party while a rival faction which claimed victory last week are asking him to pack and leave.

“This afternoon you may drive around our office because they are saying they are coming to take our office by force. Let them try!” he said.

But Kandando said what is at stake is the dysfunctionality of both the central committee and the politburo within Swanu.

“We had a gathering in March where he said we have 23 branches and then from there, we established a committee so that people can have a look at these problems within the party.

“What they submitted there were only 18 branches. Now when this press statement was issued after the meeting on the 22nd is when he started playing with numbers saying we have 36, we have 42.

“Assuming he is correct, and the time when the branches were holding those meetings, assuming that he was in Japan or China and only came back on Monday to hear that there was such a meeting, the honourable course of action which he was to take was to submit an application to court for a judicial review to review, correct and set aside that proceeding. He did not do it

“So therefore, those people met for the branches. They passed a motion of no confidence in the politburo and also in the central committee. And for the last three years, the constitution makes a provision that there must be four sessions per year of the central committee. No single central committee meeting was held. That’s the bone of contention,” he said.

While 16 members should make up the politburo, Kandando said there are currently just four.

Thus, the party has been run without a quorum.

“He tried to bring people on board. The president has the right to appoint and nominate but that is subject to ratification by the central committee. If there were no central committee meetings, effectively it means that the decisions were made unprocedurally. How legitimate are those leaders?”  he said.

Kelvin Chiringa

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