Swapo undergoes massive transition... Complete overhaul in parliamentary ranks
WINDHOEK - Swapo’s electoral college at the weekend marked what observers described as a generational transition of the party, with young and fresh faces dominating the upper end of the party’s parliamentary list.
The four ministers are Dr Richard Kamwi (health), Rosalia Nghidinwa (gender), Uahekua Herunga (environment) and Dr Albert Kawana (presidential affairs). Joining them are deputy ministers Hilma Nicanor (veteran affairs), Petrina Haingura (health), Petrus Iilonga (defence), Lempy Lucas (agriculture) and Willem Isaacks (mines). The only way back into the National Assembly for those serving MPs who did not make the list is if the party’s presidential candidate Dr Hage Geingob wins the November presidential election and decides to select them as among his eight presidential appointees.
The National Assembly is likely to have a married couple as well after both Ohangwena Regional Governor Usko Nghaamwa and his wife Lucia, the Secretary of the Swapo Party Women’s Council (SPWC) in Ohangwena, both secured favourable places on the list. Nghaamwa is ranked 55th, while his wife ranks 44th.
In total, six regional governors, Laura McLeod-Katjirua (Khomas), Sophia Shaningwa (Omusati), Nghaamwa (Ohangwena), Penda ya Ndakolo (Oshikoto), Katrina Hanse-Himarwa (Hardap) and Clinton Swartbooi (Karas) are also on the list of 96, although not all of them are expected to make it to parliament.
The results also mean the country could have a new secretary to Cabinet come next year, after the incumbent - Frans Kapofi - came out ranking 33rd on the list. The Law Reform and Development Commission (LRCD) is also likely to have a new chairman after incumbent Sacky Shanghala emerged 47th. With City of Windhoek Mayor Agnes Kafula topping the female list, the capital city will in all likelihood have a new political head as well. Candidates for the Swapo Party Youth League (SPYL) also performed well at the elective conference, with the league’s deputy Veikko Nekundi ranking 13th, while Lucia Iipumbu came sixth.
There were mixed emotions on Saturday when the ruling party announced its final list of candidates who will represent it in the National Assembly next year.
The new faces will grace the National Assembly next year after delegates opted in favour of new blood instead of going for seasoned politicians.
Candidates such as Laura Mcleod-Katjirua, Agnes Kafula, Sebastian Karupu, Lucia Iipumbu, Veikko Nekundi, Johanna Kandjimi, Natangwe Ithete, Sophia Shaningwa managed to make it into the top 20 of the party list.
If election performances of the past are anything to go by, candidates placed between 1-70 on the list are likely to make it to parliament next year.
It was however a bad day at the office for serving ministers and deputy ministers such as Jerry Ekandjo, Joel Kaapanda, Pendukeni Iivula-Ithana, Elia Kaiyamo, Isak Katali, Angelia Muharukua who are at number 81, 85, 86,93, 95 and 96 respectively.
Serving National Assembly members who failed to make it onto the list include Hilma Nicanor, Dr Richard Kamwi, Rosalia Nghidinwa, Moses Amweelo, Petrina Haingura, Dr Albert Kawana, Petrus Iilonga, Lempy Lucas, Maureen Jankowski, Uahekua Herunga, Paulus Kapia, Theopolina Mushelenga, Willem Isaacks and Ben Amathila.
Nghidinwa and Haingura’s failure to make it onto the list came as a surprise to many who thought the implementation of the 50/50 gender representation policy could make it easier for them. Haingura has been championing the 50/50 agenda, especially in her capacity as the secretary for the Swapo Party Women’s Council while Nghidinwa’s position as the Minister of Gender Equality and Child Welfare gave her room to push for 50/50 from within the chambers of Cabinet.
Sources within the party told New Era that Nghidinwa initially planned not to avail herself for the ‘pot’, but was persuaded by her female counterparts to revisit her decision – a move which cost her dearly.
While delivering the closing remarks at the electoral college, the party’s president Hifikepunye Pohamba said he had no doubt that the elected candidates would rise to the occasion and serve the nation with unparalleled enthusiasm and vigour.
“The elected candidates are drawn from a broad spectrum of professions and backgrounds. As such, they possess a wealth of both experience and knowledge that will enable them to serve the nation effectively as lawmakers,” said Pohamba.
Pohamba, who said the party must aim to obtain 91 seats during the upcoming national elections, urged ruling party members not to provoke violence before, during or after the election campaigns.
“If you are provoked, do not respond to violence with violence. Nothing should be left to chance, or taken for granted during our preparations for the elections,” he said.
5.Sankwasa James Sankwasa
What we know:
- Cabinet to have new secretary
- Six regions could have new governors
- Windhoek to have new mayor
- LRDC to get new chairman
New Era Reporter
2014-09-01 08:28:08 4 years ago