Saturday 15 May 2021
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It’s cold inside Swapo


WINDHOEK, 26 February 2016 - Parliamentary Standing Committee on Economics and Public Administration Chairperson Veikko Nekundi delivers the welcoming remarks at the 2016/17 National Budget Analysis Breakfast Meeting. (Photo by: Joseph Nekaya) NAMPA

A section of the young Turks in Swapo are finding the party system rather cold, as the tug-of-war between party elders and young members intensifies.
This week, two Politburo meetings were called by acting party president Hage Geingob at State House, and central to the discussions at those meetings was the conduct of the youth in the party.
The conduct of youth members paints a bleak picture on the entire Swapo Party Youth League (SPYL), seeing that most of the individuals who are lined up to undergo disciplinary action hail from the SPYL ranks.
If there is one man who has to face the public over the conduct of the youth, it surely has to be SPYL’s acting secretary Veikko Nekundi.
Nekundi this week made it clear that party rules should never be flouted and those with problems should address such issues internally instead of forming movements as has been the case in recent times.
Affirmative Repositioning, Muzokumwe and Landless People’s Movement, which outsiders have labelled as “Swapo’s land babies”, have all been formed by SPYL members.
The founders are a constant thorn in the flesh of the mother body and they remain resolute to push for radical changes in addressing land matters.
Speaking to The Patriot earlier this week, Nekundi said when individuals join Swapo, it is imperative that they “subscribe” to the laws of the organization.
“The (Swapo) constitution prescribes the acceptable behaviour of individuals when they have become members and that should be the principle premise when joining the organization.”
“That, yes, I have read the rules, I have read the constitution and all these things and I accept and then you become a member,” said Nekundi.
According to Nekundi, being a member of Swapo does not prevent an individual from challenging its rules and regulations or even raising concerns when unhappy.
“As time goes, it does not mean that you might not see the need for amendment of those rules, if you see that you must go back to those documents.”
“The party constitution prescribes exactly how to make any amendment because before you make any amendment you have to ascribe to it,” Nekundi further stressed.
He further noted that it is the right of any disgruntled or unhappy member to “lobby” with the relevant party structures in order address issues that are of concern to that particular individual or group.
“It is your duty to lobby within your organization; that means through your structures, sections; branches, districts, regional, Central Committee (CC); Politburo or the NEC (National Executive Committee).
“You must lobby with them and motivate the need for amendment that is the essence of any organization,” Nekundi added.
There have been increasing reports that certain members in the youth league are being targeted and unfairly treated by party “elders” for expressing their views.
To this claim, Nekundi said individuals within any organization will always have different feelings.
“You must understand that you are in a family organization of close to a million members and there will always be different feelings and opinions.
“How John or Maria feels might not be how Martha and Muripuje feel, but the same organization prescribes that if you have an issue to raise, there are rules and procedures to follow,” Nekundi responded.
Nekundi said Swapo has structures and platforms in place that make it possible for any member to petition their concerns.
“You have the right to go to a meeting or petition any structure, you can petition a Central Committee member, the Politburo and say I am a member of Swapo and I am not happy about this or that.
“The constitution provides for that and let’s just do it in that conformity and it does not mean everybody will be happy,” Nekundi further added.
Subsequently, the formation of the land movements raised eyebrows within the party and the public alike.
In some quarters, the impression exists that the ruling party may have failed to resolve the land issue internally.
On the contrary, however, Nekundi said the issue of land is not a new topic within Swapo, as it has been among the leading topics as it dates back as far back as 2002.
“The issue of land has come a long way; it was discussed at the 2002 Congress that was held in Windhoek.
“Subsequently, it was also addressed at the mother Body Congress the same year and subsequent congresses.
The issue of land was addressed and pertinent resolutions were taken,” charged Nekundi.
According to Nekundi, some of the resolutions that Swapo took at the 2002 Congress were the issue of “absentee landlords”.
“Pertinent resolutions to that were taken that include the absentee landlords and also the multiple ownership of land, the issue of auctioning of the land. All these issues were discussed.
“So, the internal issues of this nature have been discussed but it does not mean that if there is slow implementation you are disallowed to petition a structure,” he concluded.

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