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No hate for Ekandjo - Geingob

2022-10-21  Edward Mumbuu

No hate for Ekandjo - Geingob

President Hage Geingob has rubbished assertions that he abhors liberation stalwart and parliamentarian, Jerry Ekandjo, saying he has over the years extended the olive branch, which is there for all to see. 

Geingob’s position is contained in a statement issued by the Presidency yesterday, setting the tone for today’s highly anticipated central committee meeting, where Ekandjo’s candidacy for the Swapo vice presidency will be discussed.

The Presidency was responding to reports alleging that Geingob is deliberately sabotaging Ekandjo’s second bid for the sought-after position. 

Geingob took issue with former prime minister and Swapo stalwart, Nahas Angula, who was quoted as saying: “I think comrade Ekandjo is justified in feeling discriminated against; it is my [view] that [they should] give the comrade a chance.”

It is Geingob’s view that Ekandjo has been serving in parliament for the past eight years, not because of his popularity in Swapo, “but because President Geingob repeatedly came to his rescue”. 

“Comrade Jerry Ekandjo is in parliament due to the fact that in 2019, the president of the Swapo party, comrade Geingob, included comrade Ekandjo in his list of 10 members to enter parliament on the Swapo party list,” the Presidency said. 

“Therefore, to state that President Geingob is sabotaging comrade Ekandjo’s candidature for the Swapo party vice presidency is false.” 

Second chances

According to the Presidency, Geingob is an ardent believer in giving others “second chances”. 




This, the Presidency said, is evidenced by Geingob’s decision to include Ekandjo in his list of eight non-voting members of parliament.

What is more, even after the fiercely contested 2017 congress, where Ekandjo and Angula challenged Geingob for the Swapo presidency, the latter still offered an olive branch. 

Both Ekandjo and Angula were part of Team Swapo, a faction that fought tooth and nail for Swapo’s heart and soul against Geingob’s Team Harambee. 

Other Team Swapo members included Pendukeni Iivula-Ithana, Helmut Angula, Petrina Haingura and Oshikoto coordinator, Armas Amukwiyu. 

Geingob’s sparring partners were current Swapo VP Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, secretary general Sophia Shaningwa and the late Marco Hausiku.

When it was all said and done, Team Harambee annihilated Team Swapo. 

Although the party has denied the existence of factionalism, remnants for the two factions have refused to disappear. 

Not impressed  

“Geingob wrote a letter to comrade Ekandjo, including comrade Pendukeni [Iivula] Ithana, in the interest of reaching consensus on how they could work together, in view of the two cadres’ expressed reservations about working under the leadership of the head of the Executive, Dr Geingob,” reads the statement. 

At the time, the Presidency added, Geingob had hoped they would reconcile.  

“Nowhere did the comrades indicate how they could all work together as leaders in government. Following their responses, comrade Geingob exercised his presidential discretion and released them from the Cabinet,” it further states.

Some sections of society hold the view that Ekandjo and Iivula-Ithana were fired for daring to challenge Geingob’s faction. 

“How can ministers work under the President they don’t respect or hold in high esteem?” the Presidency asked. 

At the time, Iivula-Ithana was one of the highly rated ministers in her portfolio at home affairs and Ekandjo served in the youth and sports ministry. 

“It is therefore blatantly obvious that the view of comrade Angula that comrade Ekandjo is getting a raw deal from the proceedings of the Swapo party, specifically those of the central committee, which validated three candidates following the withdrawal of comrade Frans Kapofi from the [vice] presidential race, is clearly misplaced. “Premised on verifiable facts - contrary to the wrongful blaming of President Geingob for cde Ekandjo’s recent political misfortunes, it is the people’s democracy within the Swapo party which has on several occasions denied comrade Ekandjo the opportunity to ascend to the top leadership positions,” the Presidency further asserts.


Ekandjo unsuccessfully stood for Swapo presidency in 2017 and VP back in 2012. He lost to Geingob on both occasions. 

This year, the Swapo stalwart decided to escalate his attempt to compel the party to recognise his VP candidature to CC. 

This is after he failed to make the cut at a CC meeting that elected candidates for the congress last month. 

According to Ekandjo, some candidates (Tom Alweendo and Frans Kapofi) did not qualify to be nominated, having not served in the party’s top structures even for a “single day”.

Kapofi later pulled out of the VP race, despite a CC endorsement while Alweendo failed. 

Ekandjo came third in the race behind environment minister Pohamba Shifeta and Kapofi. 

Now that Kapofi is out of the equation, Ekandjo holds the view that he should automatically qualify for the race. 

Other VP candidates are incumbent, Nandi-Ndaitwah and Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila. 


Interestingly, it was in 2007 when Ekandjo’s popularity was at its apex. 

That year, however, Swapo stalwarts and then party leader, Hifikepunye Pohamba, convinced the man affectionately known as ‘Maudjuu’ in the party circles to set aside his ambitions. 

The move was to pave way for Geingob, who had returned from the political wilderness. That year, Geingob went on to clinch the Swapo VP position unopposed. 

The uncontested victory would eventually catapult Geingob in sole position to take over party reigns from Pohamba. 


Yesterday, Angula stood his ground, saying: “I stand for justice. Past deeds do not negate current unfairness!”

Through his lawyer Richard Metcalfe, Ekandjo was unfazed, refusing to be drawn into a brawl between Geingob and Angula. 

“We cannot and will not comment on Dr [Alfredo] Hengari’s (State House press secretary) perceptions and or those of comrade Nahas Angula. Democracy dictates that in a free and democratic society everybody is entitled to their point of view,” Metcalfe said.

President Hage Geingob 

Swapo stalwart Jerry Ekandjo

Photos: Presidency and Nampa

2022-10-21  Edward Mumbuu

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