Friday 14 May 2021
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‘Swapo is the most tolerant party’-Kawana

Dr. Albert Kawana

Dr. Albert Kawana

…Charges against ‘Swapo 4’ could be reinstated
The principle of tolerance ranks highly in the Swapo Party, its legal secretary Dr. Albert Kawana said, adding that the recently reinstated ‘Swapo Four’ will not be victimized upon their arrival but indicated that the party must still decide whether it will reinstate the charges against them.
George Kambala, Dimbulukeni Nauyoma, Job Amupanda and Dr. Elijah Ngurare took the party to court, on the grounds that the party’s disciplinary procedures – as provided for in the party constitution – were not followed and that they were not given an opportunity to defend themselves.
Several party insiders are skeptical that the reinstatement of the quartet will be pointless should they face victimization or should the party decide to reinstitute the charges which led to their expulsion and boot them out of the party following procedures this time around.
Kawana during an interview with The Patriot earlier this week said the decision on whether to charge the quartet and follow the relevant disciplinary procedures will be decided upon by the relevant party structures.
Kawana also condemned those who allege that the party is intolerant to diverging views.
“I do not know where this is coming from because an impression is given that the party and its President is intolerant, it is most unfortunate to hear this. It gives the impression that Swapo is undemocratic,” lamented Kawana who revealed that the party has written to the legal team of the four members who were expelled informing them that they have been reinstated.
“The way forward will be left to the appropriate structures of party but in the meantime they are back in the party and it has been confirmed in writing, for now they are members in terms of judgment,” he said.
Kawana was also not impressed with what he calls ‘negative press’ against the ruling party.
“We[Swapo] created institutions such as courts as well as party structures to deal with matters of aggrieved members, how then can it be said the party is intolerant?” he questioned.
Kawana said the party was in the past ordered by the court to rescind on decisions it took regarding members who were left in the cold, but upon the return of those members there was no instances of victimization, adding that: “This time it will be no different”.
“We had similar experiences in the past but never were members victimized or action taken afterwards, so I do not know where this hullaballoo is coming from. The party recognizes that it is the democratic right of members to seek recourse,” he said.
Kawana further said: “Swapo has been the most tolerant party whether before or after Independence, but people must exhaust party structures before they go out. If you do things within the structures there will be no problem but once you go out of the framework, it is becomes problematic.”
Kawana also said healthy debate is encouraged in the party but it must be done within the realms of the party.
“The interest of one person cannot be stressed over that of thousands. Once you damage the image of the party you are damaging the image of the larger Swapo membership,” he cautioned.
Serious flaws within the ruling party’s disciplinary machinery were laid bare by the High Court when Judge Collins Parker ordered last month that the party reinstate four of its expelled youth leaders it had booted ‘unlawfully’ last year.
While delivering his 23-page judgement, Judge Parker opposed assertions made by the legal team of the ruling party that the court is not competent to intervene in political matters.
Parker ruled that “the decision taken by the first respondent[Swapo] to deprive the applicants of their membership of 1st respondent is declared unlawful and null and void, and is set aside.”
He further ruled that Swapo must-with immediate effect, restore each applicant’s party membership.
Parker further ordered that the party should pay 60% of the applicants’ legal costs of the application, including costs of one instructing counsel and one instructed counsel.

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