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Tuesday 22 January 2019
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Ngurare backers agitated as Nekundi stands firm

 
screen-shot-2016-10-21-at-11-31-27-am screen-shot-2016-10-21-at-11-31-38-am screen-shot-2016-10-21-at-11-31-46-amA showdown looms in the battle for the Swapo Party Youth League (SPYL) top seat after several regions over the past weeks started urging the acting secretary Veikko Nekundi to pave the way for Dr Elijah Ngurare to take over the leadership of the youth wing again.
 
However, with the SPYL congress slated for early next year, Nekundi’s followers are adamant that there is no need for such a move while those on the opposite end continue to force for a breakthrough claiming that Nekundi is acting illegally.
 
Most of the regions opted to remain mum when approached this week to determine their stance on the matter, with many saying “the matter has not been discussed in my region”.
The High Court earlier this year ordered that the party reinstate George Kambala, Dimbulukeni Nauyoma, Job Amupanda and Ngurare after they 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.
 
Despite ordering the party to reinstate the four, it however declined to order the party to reinstate them into the positions they held prior to their axing.
So far three of the SPYL’s regional secretaries are sympathetic to Ngurare, which comes after a strong push for his return in the last national executive committee (NEC) meeting that the SPYL should reinstate him as a matter of urgency.
 
A pro-Ngurare NEC member said the court judgment vindicates Ngurare from any wrongdoing and he should therefore be reinstated as secretary, saying “Nekundi is acting in an illegal capacity.
 
“When the regions started making these calls, the leadership ignored them but more and more regions are coming out calling for Ngurare to be reinstated. If more than eight regions call for his return, the youth league will be left with no choice but to heed the calls of the majority,” a member of the SPYL NEC said this week.
However, another NEC member backing Nekundi said there is no point reinstating Ngurare if the congress is around the corner.
“What does he want to come and change in the few months that are left, the court already said there is no need to reinstate him into his former position and no one questioned that, why is it an issue all of a sudden?” asked the NEC member.
 
He said the “Swapo 4” were supposed to appeal to the court to reinstate them into their previous positions, adding that: “Swapo respected the court’s judgment to reinstate the membership of the four comrades, they also need to respect the court outcome because there is a reason why the court did not order for them to be reinstate.”
 
Regional view
Most of the regions are reluctant to make public their standing on the matter while others claim that their position will be determined by that of the mother body.
Erongo secretary, Laina Shapange, when approached this week to make the position of the region public, said “I have no comments at this stage.”
 
Kunene secretary, Ronnie Mutirifa, said his region is guided by the Swapo Party mother body.
“It is not in our favour to make such pronouncements, we have to do things procedurally,” he said.
Ohangwena’s Ndaitavela Hamibondi said SPYL in that region has not deliberated on the issue and the same goes for SPYL structures in Omusati, Zambezi and Oshana.
 
Omaheke regional secretary Eben Handura said: “SPYL has a constitution and structures which must be respected at all times. I do not know of a mandate to call for the reinstatement of the comrades. The central committee must pronounce itself and not the regions. I can confidently say that nobody approached my office in the region calling for us to meet and discuss the possible reinstatement of the two [Ngurare and Amupanda] into their elected positions.”
 
Oshikoto regional secretary Mathew Hangula said the duo was suspended by the mother body, hence it should pronounce itself.
“The CC should give us the guidelines, only then can we pronounce ourselves,” Hangula said.
 
Otjozondupa’s Milo Ipinge requested for questions to be forwarded to him, but even after that he did not respond to them.
//Kharas secretary Lydia De Bryn refused to comment and switched off her phone as soon as this reporter introduced himself while the mobile phone of Hardap secretary Adriaan Beukes was not reachable.
 
NEC meeting
Sources said Nekundi was under attack from NEC members who wanted to know when Ngurare would be reinstated as secretary at a NEC meeting held on 8 October 2016. Nekundi is alleged to have ignored the matter.
At the meeting, NEC members backing Nekundi allegedly expressed concern over regional committees holding and issuing media statements.
 
So far Khomas, Kavango East and Kavango West have all openly called for Ngurare and Amupanda to be reinstated into their elected positions.
“The Constitution empowers the regions to convene news conferences to share their message with the public but now those regions are accused of bypassing procedures and internal communication irregularities,” said an NEC source, who was in the meeting.
 
The source also noted that there is an unknown apparent Swapo Party directive that all party media engagements should go through secretary general Nangolo Mbumba’s office.
“The meeting was marred by hostility by the NEC posture, preventing proper open dialogue. The meeting was more of a threatening nature intended to silence REC to openly speak out on issues that affect the majority youth, unity call ignored by NEC. It is clear that the Swapo Party and SPYL Constitutions; Culture and Spirit remains tainted by dictatorship behavior from NEC,” said the source, adding that the call for the welcoming back of SWAPO four especially the reinstatement of Ngurare and Amupanda into their former positions remains loud.
 
A prominent SPYL branch leader in Khomas, who is also a national government official, said he is concerned because “the party is going to next year’s congress without having recovered from the feud caused by the 2012 congress”.
“The conflicts happening now are the result of 2012 and as things stand, one expects next year’s party congress to create more division because some camps will be looking for revenge while others will be out to destroy their rivals.
 
The leadership has not done much to unite the party after the 2012, in fact it has gone on a witch-hunt campaign against those who supported losing candidates,” he said.
Kavango West SPYL
“We have observed with great concern that SPYL at the moment has been reduced to a handclapping desk contrary to Article 2 of the SPYL constitution, which states that SPYL serves as an active, revolutionary, and militant transmitting belt of the Swapo Party ideology, policies, and programmes.
 
We learned from our heroes and heroines that we should never dishonour the dignity. This is in sharp contrast to the current top echelons of SPYL leadership that is not interested in championing the interest of the youth,” said the Kavango West regional secretary Lukas Nyumbu this week.
 
He further added: “At the moment SPYL credibility is diminishing at lightning speed. SPYL for the first time in its history was defeated by opposition youth league at the NYC congress as none of the SPYL candidates made it to the NYC Board despite the fact that SPYL is the only youth organisation that exists in all 121 constituencies.”
 
Nyumbu said the region is “deeply concerned on the development within SPYL characterised by disunity and the politics of the belly. It is our duty in the current conjecture to ensure that SPYL remain vibrant and responds to the expectations of the rank and file.”



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