ONGWEDIVA – Two Omusati councillors are fighting tooth and nail to be considered as candidates by the ruling party in the upcoming regional council elections slated for 27 November. Outapi constituency councillor Fillemon Shikwambi and his Onesi counterpart Titus Kanyele were reportedly eliminated at the district level. The councillors, who have registered their willingness to contest the elections in writing to the Swapo coordinator Sacky Kayone, said they are still waiting for clarity on what transpired. The councillors said their letters of intent to contest to Kayone are aligned to a letter from the secretary general Sophia Shaningwa dated 7 August 2020 which states incumbent councillors are automatic candidates into the district pot unless if they indicated in writing their unavailability.
Kayone confirmed the two councillors will not be standing but did not want to comment further and only questioned what a district pot was. Shaningwa could not be reached for comment to clarify the matter as her phone went unanswered. Shikwambi said he was eliminated by the district executive but believes that such powers lie with the district conference. Shikwambi said he has drafted a letter of complaint that is expected to be at the Swapo regional office where he seeks clarity on who has the powers to eliminate councillors. Kanyele said he was still waiting for a response from Kayone. “It is too early to comment, but my position is that I have expressed intend to stand in the upcoming elections,” said Kanyele. New Era has it on good authority that Kanyele was disqualified because he had an outstanding requirement which he could not obtain because the office was closed, of which he has now obtained. On the elimination process, Kayone said a candidate is either eliminated because they did not garner enough support or because they did not meet the pre-requisite requirements. “When a candidate does not meet the requirements, then they have automatically been eliminated,” he said. The councillor for Ogongo constituency Wilhelm Iyambo as well as the councillor of Anamulenge Werner Kalipi, who is also a member of the National Council, have indicated that they will not stand for elections in November.