On Monday 29 June 2020, New Era newspaper carried an article titled “Swapo members in Kongola threaten revolt” in which article the regional coordinator Comrade Moffat Sileze told lies of the highest order one would not expect from a regional political leader calling himself the harmless lion of the Zambezi region.
Comrade Sileze particularly said, “the central committee endorsed the election and approved, so we are done with that issue. Take it from me as the head of regional affairs that those people are telling lies, the elections were free and fair. I attended the elections as well as another national leader assigned to the region, Heather Sibungo as witnesses. Nothing was wrong... it is only that their favoured candidate did not make it.” Who is telling lies here between regional coordinator and the Kongola Swapo party members? To address this question let us examine the facts pertaining to the Kongola District Renewal of Mandate District Conference as per the minutes of the Regional Executive Committee and report thereof.
1. On 30 July 2019, Swapo party Regional Executive Committee held a meeting to amongst others; vet candidates and appoint an Election Committee to conduct the Kongola District Conference. The Regional Executive Committee further resolved that the Kongola District Conference should be held on the 2nd August 2019, as per the submission of the regional coordinator (Cde Sileze himself) who would not be present during the weekend since he and other regional party leaders had engagements of attending the Mayeyi Annual Cultural Festival slated for that weekend. The meeting was also attended by National Leader Assigned Cde Heather Sibungo.
As per the minutes of 30th July 2019, the Regional Executive Committee meeting, which conducted the vetting of candidates for Kongola District conference, was attended by Cdes Moffat Sileze (RC who chaired the meeting), Dorothy Kabula, (RM), Beauty Kabozu (NUNW), Albert Liswaniso (NUNW), Kachitomwa and Eunipher Muyakale (of SPYL), Munyumgano Christopher and Aldenia Bwendo (of SPEC), Dorothy Matengu (WPWC), Jihn Kapelwa and Petrocious Makata (Lyabboloma District), Mapenzi Richard and Agnes Sililo (Kabbe North district), George Kasale (Kabbe South), Jerome Kwenani and Chaze Malabunga (Katima Rural), Lister Shamalaza and Chiza Simanga (Katima Urban), Phelem Simone (Kongola) and Heather Sibungo (National Leaders Assigned). I challenge all these comrades to openly deny if they did not accept and approve the results of the Kongola District Conference of 2 August 2019. The currently available vetting certificates of candidates were all signed by Cde Sileze the regional coordinator on 30th July 2019. This Regional Executive Committee meeting further appointed the Electoral Committee of four members and resolved that the Kongola District Conference should be held on Friday 2 August 2019.
2. Kongola District Conference was initially attended by all 16 branches but eventually two branches under the leadership of the then district coordinator withdrew leaving 14 branches out of 16 branches to continue with the district conference which was held on Friday, 2nd August 2019 as scheduled, and was overseen by Cde Dorothy Kabula (regional mobilisation officer). Although all 16 branches initially attended, two branches later withdrew on the instruction of the then district coordinator Cde Simone for reasons best known to him or may be when he realised that he was going to lose and after possibly consulting his bosses.
3. The Election Committee submitted the report of the results of Kongola district conference, wherein Cde Boniface Subulwa was duly elected as the new Kongola district coordinator by polling 89 votes compared to the 11 votes polled by Cde Simone, which were accepted and approved by the regional executive committee during its meeting held on 08 August 2019 under the chairpersonship of the regional coordinator, Cde Moffat Sileze. The regional coordinator even signed the report of the district conference of 02 August 2019 to indicate his endorsement of the conference results. During the REC meeting of 08 August 2019, Cde Sileze failed to answer questions raised by the members such as 1. Who permitted the second conference for Kongola District? 2. Who chose the electoral committee for the 4th August 2019 held at Kongola? Where are the minutes and report of the 4th August 2019 conference? The recorded response of the regional coordinator was simply to say he was not ready to answer such questions but was ready to send the results of 2 August 2019 district conference to the Swapo party national headquarters. This he never did as he instead sent the result of the unconstitutional and unprocedural conference conducted by himself and Cde Heather Sibungo (leaders assigned) on the 4th August 2019. He once more lied to the Swapo party national headquarters.
On the basis of such lies and without conducting due diligence, as the dispute was already simmering, the SG of the party nullified the legitimate results of an approved district conference and ordered a rerun of the conference. This is what angered and still angers the Kongola people and Swapo party members in that district.
4. Again Cde Sileze, after the Regional Executive Committee had endorsed the results of the district conference held on 2nd August 2019, decided on his own to write a letter to the secretary general and executive director of the party requesting for the nullification of the district conference held on 2nd August 2019 since he dislikes the newly elected district coordinator Cde Subulwa. No investigation of Cde Sileze’s individual allegations as to why he did not agree with the decision of the regional executive committee meeting, which he chaired, was ever done by the Office of the SG before nullification. On the basis of this letter, the legitimate Kongola District Conference held on 2nd August 2019 was without any reason and consultation with the regional governor, who was present during the REC meeting as ex officio member as per Article XII (b) (g) of the Swapo party constitution, Regional Executive Committee or Kongola people, was nullified by the SG.
The article further states that “The silence of national leaders not to address this issue shows favouritism and corruption.”