WINDHOEK – The Swapo Party Youth League (SPYL) has called on the party’s top brass to urgently institute disciplinary measures against former lecturer at the Swapo Party School, Dr Panduleni Itula, who is purported to have written that Swapo members may stand as independent candidates for the Namibian presidency.
The league labelled Itula a “political opportunist” and urged its members to be vigilant and not fall for the independent candidate agenda.
Since his widely circulated opinion about standing as an independent candidate, Itula has been criticised by many sections of the ruling party – with the youth league being the latest to let off a salvo in the medical doctor’s direction.
In a statement released over the weekend, SPYL secretary Ephraim Nekongo said the league has learnt with shock and dismay of Itula’s plan to directly or indirectly stand as an independent presidential candidate while he is a Swapo card-carrying member.
“This wish of Dr Itula is centrally in violation of our Swapo Party Constitution and the rules and procedures policy of electing national leaders,” he said.
“[Itula] with his recruited agents is busy in the regions recruiting our Swapo Party members in order to attain the 500 persons per region in order to fulfil the requirement of the electoral law to be accepted as an independent presidential candidate,” alleged Nekongo.
He accused Itula and those buying into his supposed agenda of disloyalty.
“Comrades, loyalty should be about an organisation not individuals. Chauvinism is uncalled for in the party. We will stand together to stamp out chauvinism and bigotry in the party.”
“In view of the above, we call on the Swapo Party leadership to urgently institute disciplinary measures against Dr Itula and his cohorts,” declared Nekongo.
The SPYL honcho said Swapo Party would only have President Hage Geingob as its candidate in the 2019 presidential election.
Geingob, speaking to New Era in March, said the party does not allow its members to stand as independent presidential candidates and anyone who harboured such ambitions must first resign from the ruling party.
“How do you field an independent candidate within Swapo? The party constitution is very clear that the candidate has to be the president of Swapo. To be an independent candidate you have to leave Swapo. Even then, you have to look at the Namibian constitution – it’s not that simple. People have freedom to say things – stupid or clever,” Geingob told New Era exclusively three weeks ago.
Itula was unrepentant when contacted for comment yesterday insofar as his views were concerned. He laughed at allegations that he was seeking to stand or is supporting another party member to do so.
“I expressed a view and I stand by it. I am guaranteed the freedom to express my views. I am only responsible for what I wrote – not how anyone out there interprets my writing,” he said late yesterday.
“I have said what I said – and that was a long time ago. People must move on.”
Asked to comment on the request for the party leadership to discipline him, Ituta said: “Let the party leadership do what they want. They can come see me if they need further clarity on what I said. I am content and I am sleeping peacefully at night. I’m not bothered by anything being said about me.”
2019-04-08 08:43:46 13 days ago