Former South West Africa National Union (Swanu) president Rihupisa Kandando has refuted claims by current party president Tangeni Iijambo that the country’s oldest political party was ‘deadwood’ during his era.
Kandando led the party from 1998 to 2007.
Iijambo said when contacted for comment on the vote of no confidence moved against the party leadership during the party’s central committee meeting last week that the congress resolutions were irrelevant as the congress was headed by Kandando, who allegedly failed the party during his reign.
In response to an article in the New Era of Wednesday, Kandando retorted that “Dr Iijambo was asked to comment on the press statement. Instead of focusing on that, he decided to engage in slanderous, virulent defamation and character assassination on personalities during my tenure at the helm of Swanu,” Kandando said.
“If I were the assessor of that examination paper, I would have given him a zero mark. Alternatively, as a journalistic paper, I would have published that he has declined to comment since there is no iota of evidence that he accepted your request for comment on the subject matter of the press statement,” he continued.
Kandando said he led the party during the mass exodus of Swanu members to the Congress of Democrats (CoD), including prominent personalities who even went to serve as CoD members of parliament (MP).
“I presided over a party during a dispensation in Namibia where there was a spirit of a “Herero Inkatha” in the country in anticipation of 100 years of genocide, in which Swanu members - including former prominent personalities - defected to Nudo and became MPs before resigning again to become Swapo members,” Kandando added.
He said despite all these developments, he managed to keep the party intact. Therefore, it was unfortunate for Iijambo to compare his tenure as president to his.
“I decline to comment on his abilities. Suffice to say that under his leadership, the Swanu politburo and central committee (CC) are dysfunctional. These are the issues, and not personality cults,” Kandando stated.
Meanwhile, a media statement issued by the party on Monday said their congress - attended by one-third of the party’s branches at Omawejozonjanda in the Epukiro constituency of the Omaheke region last Tuesday - moved a no-confidence vote against Iijambo and the entire party leadership.
This, according to the statement, is after concerned, frustrated and disillusioned party members decided to arrest the desperate situation caused by the dysfunctionality of both the politburo and the CC to the development of Namibia.