The battle for the soul of Namibia’s oldest political party Swanu has deepened, with a rival faction passing a vote of no confidence in the current leadership headed by president Tangeni Iijambo.
The faction led by the party’s former president Rihupisa Kandando, who steered the party from 1998-2007, last weekend elected Charles Katjivirue as the new party leader. According to the Kandando faction, Katjivirue will also replace Iijambo in the National Assembly, where the party has one seat.
Responding to the new developments, Iijambo described the weekend’s events as an unsuccessful coup d’état, less thought through and unconstitutional, hence illegal and uncalled for. In a statement, the Kandando faction also claimed that Alpha Kangueehi is the new head of political affairs.
Benjamin Limbo will be responsible for administrative affairs, while Sam Tjikuzu is the new secretary general. Kairaa Katjari will be the new secretary for finance. Katjivirue yesterday told New Era that they are in the process of writing to the Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) to inform them of the new changes.
“This is the context in which this Swanu extraordinary congress must be seen, viewed and appreciated. This being a special congress, since the national congress was due to be held on or before April 2022, there are a plethora of issues that triggered the convocation of this event in the history of our party,” Tjikuzu said.
“This is the rationale why this extraordinary congress has not dealt with policy issues, and pronouncements will be made in due course after the central committee has deliberated on the matters.”
A motion of no confidence was moved by the party’s “politburo and central committee” in June this year against Iijambo at Omawejozonjanda, Epukiro constituency, in the Omaheke region.
However, Iijambo contested the Omawejozonjanda meeting, saying the convention was illegal and thus irrelevant.
“The long-orchestrated occurrences that summited in an imposed so-called “extraordinary congress” themed ‘claiming our heritage back’ on Saturday, 21 August 2021 at the Tabitha Centre in Windhoek culminated in the apparent election of a president and some of his executives,” Iijambo said. “Let me emphatically reiterate to our broad membership and the entire world out there with confidence that Swanu only has one president elected at the legitimately convened April 2018 party congress. The incumbent president is known as Tangeni Cornelius Kakweno Iijambo, whose five-year term should end in 2024,” he stated.