WINDHOEK – The Swapo Party Youth League (SPYL) says it is excited by the infusion of new blood as potential ruling party parliamentarians.
Most of the old guard received shock therapy over the weekend when they were swept aside during the weekend’s watershed electoral college in Windhoek.
Several of the long-serving parliamentarians were retired through the popular ballot, while a handful opted not to avail themselves for nomination.
With more than half of the candidates on the list having never served in the National Assembly, critics claim that limited experience and little political mileage in top government positions could impact on service delivery.
Critics also feel the inexperience will be a challenge for most of the young and new faces who will eventually make it into the National Assembly, and this might subsequently negatively affect the state’s performance in terms of formulation of policies and laws that are responsive to the needs of the populace.
But the spokesperson of the SPYL Job Amupanda rubbished these claims saying most of the veteran politicians in the party had little experience when they took over government in 1990, yet they flourished.
“We are very excited about having young people go to parliament. These are the people who will take the country and the party forward. We will be making use of the elders to provide an advisory role if there are any challenges. These are the very same people who had no experience when they returned from exile to lead the nation but they did well,” an upbeat Amupanda told New Era yesterday.
Serving and former SPYL members such as Lucia Iipumbu, Veikko Nekundi, Sakeus Shanghala, Juliet Kavetuna, Natangwe Ithete, and Bernadus Swartbooi are all placed favourably on the party’s National Assembly list.
Amupanda stressed the youth would keep engaging the veterans who failed to make it onto the list to draw from their wealth of wisdom.
“It is really sad that some leaders had to be retired by the ballot but we will continue working with them. We however thank those who have done so voluntarily,” said the outspoken SPYL spokesman.
Amupanda lauded leaders such as Nahas Angula, Marco Hausiku, Dr Libertina Amathila, Helmut Angula, Clemens Kashuupulwa and Dr Elijah Ngurare who voluntarily decided to go into retirement.
Four cabinet ministers, namely, Dr Richard Kamwi (health), Rosalia Nghidinwa (gender), Uahekua Herunga (environment) and Dr Albert Kawana (presidential affairs) failed to even make it onto the list of 96.
Speaker of the National Assembly Dr Theo-Ben Gurirab was among those falling below the list of 96, joining 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 some of them as among his eight presidential appointees.
Other serving MPs and veterans such as Peya Mushelenga, Jerry Ekandjo, Elifas Dingara, Joel Kaapanda, Pendukeni Iivula-Ithana, David Namwandi, Elia Kaiyamo, Angelika Muharukua and Isak Katali should be grateful that lawmakers last week passed the Constitutional Amendment Bill.
They all ranked between positions 73 and 96 on the list. Had the National Assembly not passed the Third Constitutional Amendment Bill last week, the list would only have ended at 72, but with the amendment of the constitution the seats in the National Assembly were increased from 72 to 96.
New Era Reporter
2014-09-02 08:12:37 4 years ago