THE scramble for power within the Swapo Party Youth League has intensified, as some party members threatened legal action if the endorsement of the current secretary Ephraim Nekongo and his deputy Christine Haindaka-Sikongo is not nullified. In an open letter directed to Nekongo yesterday, lawyer and SPYL member Fillemon Shikomba has given SPYL central committee two days to withdraw its “illegal” endorsements.
An endorsement is a voice of the minority and deliberate attempt to influence congress. Shikomba copied party president Hage Geingob and secretary general Sophia Shaningwa in his letter. SPYL’s fourth ordinary central committee meeting in Windhoek recently saw secretary Nekongo and Hainsaka-Sikongo declared sole candidates for their respective positions. “It is not procedurally acceptable for the central committee, which is up for elections, to decide for the next central committee and, thus, defeats the essence of a congress. What is the purpose of congress? What is the role of the people?” asked Shikomba.
Shikomba, who wanted to contest for the position, says his right to do so was taken away by the actions of Nekongo and the youth league’s central committee. “In case you’ve forgotten the rules, it is congress that nominates and votes people. SPYL constitution does not give the central committee the absolute right to endorse and nominate candidates,” explained Shikomba.
Nekongo was recently appointed to the National Assembly as a non-voting member after Leon Jooste resigned. Responding to the letter, Nekongo says he spent Sunday night explaining to Shikomba, “who has never held a position within party structures” how the whole process works.
According to him, due processes were followed, and no provisions were violated. “If he wants to go to court, we cannot stop him. But our provisions, as established by the rules and the constitution, still stand, and we will go to congress. It does not mean that when the nomination is done, there would be no congress. Who said that? For us, he is seeking attention. So, we are not going to entertain his love letter. If he wants to write love letters, he should write to his girlfriend,” said Nekongo.
He indicated the national executive committee and central committee carried out their mandate as stipulated by the constitution. “They have done their work, and nominated and [made] secondments. I am, however, yet to see his nomination. There was no nomination for him. If he did not do his work to be nominated, that is not our problem. As the secretary, I am not here to entertain love letters,” noted Nekongo.
Swapo party secretary general Sophia Shaningwa declined to comment on the matter. “Wait for us to express ourselves on the matter. Even if it was an open letter, we will not express ourselves in the newspapers,” said Shaningwa.
Shikomba is not the first party member to voice
his concerns on Nekongo and Haindaka-Sikongo’s
endorsements by the central committee.
SPYL central committee member Timotheus
Angala last month wrote a letter to air his concerns
regarding the alleged unconstitutional endorsement
and voting process.
According to him, the sole candidacy takes away
the opportunity from the regional structures to
nominate their candidates.
Adding the sole candidacy has brought
confusion, political apathy in the young leaders and
disrepute, and party members questioning whether
the process of contesting for positions in the SPYL
is democratic. - firstname.lastname@example.org