OMUTHIYA – Businessman Gottlieb Ndjendjela convincingly defeated rival Katrina Kakwambi in a rerun on Monday to emerge as candidate of the ruling party for Tsumeb constituency ahead of the November elections. Ndjendjela received 42 votes, while Kakwambi managed 26.
The tense Swapo primary election was ordered after the ruling party leadership nullified the outcome of the last district conference held at Tsumeb. “That was not even a dispute but a misunderstanding which needed to be clarified, but all in all the delegates have now decided who should be their preferred leader to move the party and its people’s interest forward,” Ndjendjela told New Era yesterday.
“For now, party interests should prevail above individuals, as this is a Swapo win and not necessarily mine alone. We need to work together now so that we can take Tsumeb to greater heights, we can only do this holistically. I pledge to continue from where the current councillor ends so we fulfil the party manifesto and developmental agenda.”
Kakwambi was not available for comment yesterday. Monday’s internal election was the third to be held in two weeks, as the first had to be postponed after chaos erupted when incumbent councillor Lebbius Tobias withdrew at the last minute. A second run had to be undertaken in which defeated candidate Kakwambi was declared winner. But that was overruled after the results were thoroughly reviewed, thus giving Ndjendjela the upper hand.
Those results where, however, nullified by the politburo, after irregularities were raised, prompting Swapo secretary general Sophia Shaningwa to order a rerun.