If the outcome of the various Swapo primaries is anything to go by, many veteran politicians and serving councillors are not assured of a smooth ride into the intra-party electoral competition ahead of the regional council and local authority elections next month.
Thus far, a number of seating councillors – both regional and at local authority level – have been eliminated during primary elections convened to specifically nominate candidates for the upcoming polls.
Political commentator Graham Hopwood said the emergence of youthful candidates was a healthy development. “It shows that many young people want to engage in local and regional politics.
“This can be a stepping stone to appearing on the national political stage. I also hope that women in general and young women, especially will stand as candidates in the regional elections - where traditionally middle-aged and older men have dominated,” he said.
“The Namibian population is dominated by young people, so it is positive that they are engaging in politics and hopefully this will lead to a large number of young people voting at the end of November.”
At Oshakati, five serving local authority councillors have failed to make the cut as delegates opted for young blood. Only mayor Angelus Iyambo made it at number seven.
However, he is also not assured a place on the Oshakati council, considering the ruling party only has six seats, with the Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) occupying the other. There will, however, be no return for deputy mayor Ndamonongheda Hamunyela, Katrina Shimbulu, Loise Shivolo, Onesimus Shilunga and Gabriel Kamwanka who all failed to garner enough votes to be considered for nomination as candidates. The seating councillors were replaced by a youthful Hofni Mutota who scored the highest votes with 146 and Puyeipawa Elifas with 127 votes. The other nominees are Leonard Hango (112), Maria Mutumbulwa (116), Leo Shinime (111) and Martha Nashidengo who along with Iyambo received 108 votes. Other candidates who contested the nominations, but failed to make it are former Swapo Party Youth League leader Mathilde Nakwedhi and Lazarus Kuutondokwa. At present, Swapo only has six seats at Oshakati with the seventh seat occupied by PDM’s Linus Tobias. The results of the district conference were confirmed by the Swapo party coordinator in the region Samuel Nelongo, who also said all regional councillors apart from Rosalia Shilenga at Okatana and Andreas Johannes of Oshakati West, were once again nominated as candidates. Shilenga was replaced by Edmund Iishuwa and Johannes by Aram Martin. There will, however, be a new candidate at Uuvudhiya where incumbent Ndahafa Amutenya did not seek nomination. Timoteus Shivute will now be fielded as the Swapo candidate in that constituency.
In the Oshikoto, a number of serving regional councillors were also eliminated, while Tsumeb constituency councillor Lebbius Tobias withdrew from the internal contest last week. As things stand, Oshikoto will have seven new Swapo candidates for the regional council elections. Among those who failed to make the cut, included Betty Kaula (Guinas), Petrus Kambala (Onyaanya), Jerry Ngwena (Oniipa), Vicky Shikongo (Olukondja), Iyambo Indongo (Onayena) as well as Levi Reinholdt of Nehale lyaMpingana. Only Sacky Nangula of Omuntele, Hans Nambondi (Okankolo), Protasius Neshuku (Eengodhi) and Samuel Shivute of Omuthiya were once again nominated as candidates of the ruling party. Oshikoto’s Swapo regional coordinator Armas Amukwiyu said the various district conferences in the region were all concluded on Sunday despite. “I can confirm that seven of my current councillors did not make it at district level to represent the party again. Although the processes went well, there were some notable challenges and transgressions that will need to be addressed. Crucial decisions will be undertaken, which will see some re-runs in some constituencies,” briefly said Amukwiyu. Ndjambula Fillemon emerged as the preferred candidate for Olukonda, while Vilho Nuunyango secured the majority of votes to emerge as the Oniipa candidate. At Guinas, Kaula lost out to Kainda Marthinu, while Kambala was narrowly defeated by Gideon Shikomba at Onyaanya. In Tsumeb, Katrina Kakwambi prevailed over main competitor Gottlieb Ndjendjela. Matheus Kamati was confirmed as new Onayena candidate while Reinholdt lost out to Joseph Shikongo at Nehale lyaMpingana.
Meanwhile, in the capital Windhoek, former mayor Muesee Kazapua was among the eight serving Swapo councillors serving on local municipal council who failed to make the cut. Windhoek mayor Fransina Kahungu, Emmanuel Paulus and Teckla Uwanga are the current serving councillors who made the party’s list of candidates at a conference held on Sunday evening. Kazapua, fellow long-serving councillor Moses Shiikwa, Loide Kaiyamo, Ananias Niizimba, Hileni Uulumbu, Agatha Ashilelo, Matilda Ukeva and Mathew Amadhila all failed to make the list this time around. The new Swapo candidates include Magdalena Lombardt, Austin Kwenani, Queen Kamati, Shafa Nujoma, Matheus Shoongo, Kaenda Naftali, Johannes Erastus, Albertina Amutenya, France Kaundinge, Sakarias Uunona, Frederika Shigwedha and Aina Henok.
Energised… The ongoing ruling party primaries have seen an infusion of both young and old blood ahead of the November elections.