The Zambezi region as well as five districts in Otjozondjupa, Omaheke and Omusati will not be allowed to attend the elective congress of the Swapo Party Women’s Council later this month. This is after the structures failed to hold primaries before the agreed deadline, which would have elected delegates to the congress.
SPWC secretary Eunice Iipinge confirmed the developments yesterday, adding districts who missed the deadline for submitting the names of their delegates, which was last year September, will not be allowed to take part in the congress.
The eighth SPWC congress is scheduled for 24-26 February in Windhoek. The congress was postponed last December due to rising Covid-19 infections. According to sources, the Zambezi regional conference could not be held due to squabbles among delegates but will be done this weekend.
However, the women’s wing is adamant no late delegates will be allowed into congress. “The decision was taken at the central committee and so it stands that those districts that failed to submit the names of their delegates to their regional structures cannot be part of the congress,” she said.
The SPWC central committee meeting was held on 27 January 2022. The affected districts include Okorukambe, Epukiro, Okakarara, Anamulenge and Ruacana. Okorukambe only successfully concluded its district conference in November, while some districts have not attempted to hold any conferences as stipulated by the party’s constitution.
Delegates to this year’s gathering will elect a new secretary, deputy secretary as well as central committee members. The conference will also discuss issues that are affecting women within the party. A two-horse race for the SPWC top post is expected between Windhoek councillor Fransina Kahungu and gender ministry official Katrina Liswani.
The Swapo Party Elders Council and Swapo Party Youth League will also hold their respective elective congresses sometime this year and will precede the elective congress of the mother body, which is expected to be in November.
In December 2016 Iipinge beat Petrina Haingura to win the emotionally-charged race for secretary of the SPWC, amidst claims of vote-rigging. Then attorney general Sacky Shanghala declared Iipinge the winner, with Kahungu emerging as deputy secretary of the wing. Iipinge won with 249 votes against Haingura’s 223 and 81 for Sylvia Kandanga-Sheetekela.