WINDHOEK – The Swapo leadership in Otjozondjupa Region yesterday suspended with immediate effect six party officials – including governor Otto Ipinge – pending pronouncement by the political bureau of the party.
Ipinge is suspended alongside Okahandja Constituency Councillor Steve Biko Boois, regional councillor for Otjiwarongo Constituency Julius Neumbo and Jack Tsanigab, a local authority councillor for Grootfontein Municipality. Also, suspended are Grootfontein Mayor Absai Haimene and Grootfontein Constituency Councillor Nelao Amagulu.
The party’s Otjozondjupa regional coordinator, Susan Hikopua, yesterday confirmed this development to New Era, saying the six were yesterday morning invited to a meeting in order for the Regional Executive Committee (REC) to convey the decision to suspend them.
None of the officials showed up, Hikopua said.
She said the decision to suspend the six emanates from meetings held on 8th May and 12th June 2019 in terms of Chapter 5, Article XII B (7)1 of the Swapo Party constitution.
Hikopua said one of the reasons for their suspension is that the six have been arranging demonstrations against the legitimately elected leadership in the region, with the ultimate aim to remove them from office.
Another reason is that they have been interfering in the party structures in Otjiwarongo, in particular in Ombili and DRC settlements, she said.
“The group’s unauthorised damaging statements, which are harmful to the party [and] spread a litany of unsubstantiated lies against the legitimately elected leadership of the party in the region,” a statement said.
According to her, the group also conducted illegal and unauthorised renewal of mandates in the districts of Grootfontein and Otjiwarongo and similarly took the party to court, a case which she said they lost on urgency and subsequently abandoned.
“A necessary corollary or consequence of the suspension is that the suspended comrades must forthwith cease to engage themselves in any party activities pending pronouncement by the political bureau of Swapo Party,” Hikopua said.
“The Regional Executive Committee will never tolerate two centres of power in Otjozondjupa Region,” vowed Hikopua, adding that there is only one legitimately elected Swapo leadership in the region under her command.
She said the REC has on numerous occasions condemned these unsavoury actions.
In particular, she said, the leadership sought the intervention of the office of Swapo Secretary General Sofia Shaningwa in order to restore normalcy.
However, the “Otto Ipinge-led group” has rebuffed these “bona fide” attempts and vowed to take all necessary actions to remove the current leadership from their positions, the statement further alleged.
When contacted for comment yesterday, Ipinge told New Era that the suspensions were news to him.
“This is news to me, I am not notified at all, maybe they will bring me the suspension letter then I will take it from there,” he said.
Boois was unavailable for comment as his phone went unanswered.
The party leadership in the region has been at each other’s throats since the 2017 Swapo congress.
2019-06-13 09:16:37 | 1 years ago