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Swapo stalwarts demand reforms

2022-10-20  Edward Mumbuu

Swapo stalwarts demand reforms

Those leading the ruling party can no longer pretend that everything is well, while Swapo is engulfed by an inferno of tribalism, factionalism, corruption and infiltration by enemies, a concerned group of stalwarts highlighted yesterday. 

This sums up the rumbling message by a concerned group - composed of veterans, former central committee members, ex-Plan combatants and affiliated bodies - that echoed in a conference room at the party’s headquarters in the capital.

The future for Swapo, according to the group, is bleak. 

“We want to make Swapo party ready for the 2024 general and presidential elections which we imagine will be very tough. In the current status, we assure you that Swapo is bound to fail,” said former mines and energy minister Isak Katali. 

The group came into existence after former prime minister Nahas Angula was earlier this year approached by concerned party cadres while tilling the soil at his home village, Onyaanya in Oshikoto. 

According to Angula, the rank and file was concerned about the state of the party that has lost its ideological direction and taken an elitist posture.  

Angula is the leader. 

Read by Katali, the petition was signed off by Katali, Angula and erstwhile labour permanent secretary Peter Mwatile. 

On the day, the trio was joined by struggle veteran Helao Ndadi. 

“Members of Swapo are no longer united and not working together. The current Swapo leadership is unable to address these internal problems, including disunity. As the internal problems mounted high, they manifested into silent and sleeping political crises that have eaten up Swapo party to the bones,” the group said yesterday. 

The group painted a gloomy picture of the state of affairs within Swapo, which if left unattended, could lead to the demise of the ruling party. 

They mince no words in their missive. 

At least seven points have been identified to diagnose Swapo’s crisis. 

Chief among them is slate politics, alleged flawed nomination of those buying top posts, corruption and the violation of party constitution and procedures. 

While claiming their cries have fallen on deaf ears thus far, they also lament that not much has been done to forge unity in Swapo.

The group apparently approached party leader President Hage Geingob to voice their concerns on 10 June 2022. 

Later, on 4 July 2022, a meeting between Geingob, party vice president Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah and secretary general Sophia Shaningwa and some members of the disgruntled faction was allegedly held at State House. 

There, the team made a presentation and submitted a dossier containing their grievances to the top three leaders. 


Geingob, according to Katali, assured the nine-member delegation that his team would study the document and revert, which gave them “hope that there is light at the end of the tunnel”. 

The concerns were later discussed at a CC meeting in August. Not much has happened since, they say.

“Our other views are that whether comrade President [Geingob] continues to ignore or block all revolutionary initiatives to save the part or not, challenges to Swapo continue to mount high as the party continues to disintegrate and will continue to lose political battles in today’s country politics,” he said. 

Katali added that the current state of Swapo, disjointed and divided, would be Geingob’s legacy.

Additionally, Katali said, they reached out to former Swapo leaders – Sam Nujoma and Hifikepunye Pohamba – to seek their intervention in the crisis. 

Due to the two leaders’ advanced age and state of health, the group decided to go solo, without the influence of the two former leaders. 

Things fall apart

According to them, when Nujoma handed the reigns to Pohamba, the party was in a solid state, united and peaceful. 

Things, however, began to deteriorate towards the end of Pohamba’s tenure and further worsened under Geingob’s stewardship. 

“There has been no attempt from the leadership to address our internal problems in Swapo since they developed,” Katali charged.

2022-10-20  Edward Mumbuu

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