Shaningwa, Mushelenga take fight to Eenhana

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Shaningwa, Mushelenga take fight to Eenhana

EENHANA – Swapo’s internal campaign has become increasingly robust with a heated argument between party secretary general Sophia Shaningwa and information minister and central committee member Peya Mushelenga almost souring yesterday’s event in Eenhana, Ohangwena region.  

Shaningwa confronted Mushelenga over a New Era story headlined ‘Mushelenga reads Shaningwa the riot act’ that exposed Shaningwa’s apparent neglecting of secretarial work.

Mushelenga wrote the letter to scold Shaningwa over tardy preparations for the congress. 

According to sources at the venue, Shaningwa confronted Mushelenga in full view of other delegates and candidates at a local guesthouse, claiming he is the one who leaked the letter to the media and that it has caused chaos. 

The two started pointing fingers and shouting at each other at close quarters, while delegates had to step in to separate the leaders.

Mushelenga denied leaking the letter to the media, saying he only sent it to her and copied in President Hage Geingob and other members of the central committee. 









“It was wrong of her to attack a fellow comrade in public like that. These are sensitive times and we cannot afford to have such confrontations at this point… it will divide us,” said a concerned party member who witnessed the quarrel.

In a missive addressed to Shaningwa, seen by New Era, dated 17 October 2022, Mushelenga stressed that there is only a month left before congress but there are no committees in place. 

He expressed concern that it would have an impact on the efficiency and effective organisation of the congress slated for November. 

Mushelenga also dropped a bombshell, suggesting some delegates’ names have mysteriously vanished from the congress master list. 

“It has been complained that some names of some delegates have been removed from the delegates’ list without their knowledge or the knowledge of district coordinators and replaced with the so called ‘alternate delegates’,” Mushelenga alleged.

According to him, this scenario would have been averted, had the committees been up and running.

Towards the end of November, Swapo delegates will gather in Windhoek to decide the former liberation movement’s fate. 

Yesterday, candidates vying for top positions in the ruling party and their delegates from across the country flocked to Ohangwena region for that region’s internal campaign event. 

The northern region is considered a vital constituency for the Swapo congress. 

Two of the vice president candidates, Pohamba Shifeta and Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah are both from Ohangwena.

During the campaigns, candidates such as Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila and Nandi-Ndaitwah preached ‘unity’ in their manifestos. 

Kuugongelwa-Amadhila said she would unify the party once elected vice president. 

Ironically, delegates seemed to strictly follow their preferred candidates.

Although the candidates were supposed to submit their manifestos to all congress delegates in that region, some delegates were leaving the venue after the candidate they are supporting presented.

“There should not be those things of making one another look like orphans when we visit their regions,” Kuugongelwa-Amadhila noted.

 “We are not fighting. We are competing. We are members of the same party. It is important to make sure that when we attend these campaigns, we must not attack one another or make one another unhappy because after the congress we will not be able to unite again.”

Kuugongelwa-Amadhila further stressed if the party members continue to be divided, they will be at risk of losing the status of ruling party. 


“We have already lost two-thirds majority. We don’t know what else we will lose. Look what happened in Angola,” she lamented, referring to the close elections in the neighbouring country in which the People’s Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) won with 51.17%, compared with 43.95% for the leading opposition party, the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (Unita).



‘Pray for Swapo’


Meanwhile, Nandi-Ndaitwah pleaded with delegates to “pray” for the party to make sure those joining believe in unity and teamwork.

“A strong party can make a strong government,” she told delegates. 

Nandi-Ndaitwah will mount her defence against Prime Minister Kuugongelwa-Amadhila and environment minister Shifeta as she seeks to retain the post and ultimately the state president.

Meanwhile, Shaningwa will square off against Oshikoto coordinator Armas Amukwiyu for the SG position. 

Former cabinet minister Uahekua Herunga, parliamentarians Lucia Witbooi, Evelyn !Nawases-Taeyele and Kavango West party coordinator David Hamutenya contest the deputy SG position. 

The campaigns will proceed to Oshikoto region on Saturday and then head to Oshana, Omusati, Kunene, Otjozondjupa and //Kharas.