‘United’ Swapo differs on disunity

Home National ‘United’ Swapo differs on disunity

WINDHOEK – The ruling Swapo Party yesterday reiterated its strong disagreement with its regional coordinator for Oshikoto Armas Amukwiyu, who charged that it was naive of the leadership to think the party, is currently united.
Amukwiyu, defeated to the position of secretary-general during last year’s elective congress by Sophia Shaningwa, said the party was riddled with factionalism, 12 months after camps said they accepted the outcome and pledged to re-unite again.

Amukwiyu, during the opening of the extraordinary congress held in Windhoek last weekend, attempted to place on the agenda a motion on unity of purpose, but it was thrown out on technicality.
Party rules dictate that any such motion must be forwarded to the party three months before congress takes place, it was explained.

Current secretary-general Shaningwa told journalists yesterday that perceived disunity in the party was a figment of imagination.

The fact that over 700 party members attended and participated in the weekend’s extraordinary congress was indicative enough of prevailing unity in the ruling party, she said.

By party statutes, attendants of ordinary congress must attend any extraordinary congress that may follow, and which is technically an extension of the initial congress.

Shaningwa explained this last week when she said those who participated in the 2017 elective congress must attend the weekend’s extraordinary congress.

“Swapo is becoming stronger and stronger on a daily basis,” roared Shaningwa yesterday.

“Swapo Party is a very big house. It is like a lion in the jungle. If Swapo coughs, all (parties) sneeze.”
She said the extraordinary congress reaffirmed that the rights of Swapo Party members to exercise their democratic rights – including to approach courts when they feel aggrieved – did not mean that unity within the party was deteriorating.

When a handful members nag about perceived unfairness in party processes, this should not be viewed to mean the entire rank and file of the party shared the same view, she argued.

It is time those seeing the alleged divisions join the majority who feel united, the former Omusati governor further remarked.

“Swapo Party moves on,” she exclaimed.
“The members who took Swapo Party to court, through their own lawyers, had to withdraw their case because their case lacked substance. Swapo is the people and the people are Swapo.”  Commenting, though vaguely, on congress discussions, Shaningwa said attendees emphasised that the principle of contested and elected positions within the party has become an accepted norm.

Equally, she said congress underscored the importance of ensuring that in contestation for party positions during intra-party elections, contestants and all members of the party should at all times focus on substantive issues and not engages in or perpetuate personal attacks.

She also reported that congress has reiterated that the party must be weary of centrifugal forces that are intent on destroying what took the party many years and so much blood, sweat and tears to build. 

It was underscored that is it easy to destroy the party but difficult to build it, she further reported. She also said congress emphatically dismissed baseless notions that the reason why the congress was held at Ramatext complex was because the party is bankrupt.

Swapo will soon commence with the construction of its landmark headquarters building and therefore resources are prudently managed, she emphasised.

Shaningwa refused to divulge costs involved in constructing party headquarters, only saying the building plan has been approved by Windhoek municipality.