The ruling party is investigating claims of alleged widespread irregularities that culminated in incumbent Oshikoto regional coordinator Armas Amukwiyu getting the majority vote of the districts in the region.
Swapo Party secretary general Nangolo Mbumba confirmed receiving the written complaints from disgruntled party members in Oshikoto.
Sources privy to Swapo say, Amukwiyu chaired district conferences and called district conferences through dubious means.
The Patriot understands that, the complainants are disputing the outcome of some of the district conferences and want the party leadership to nullify the outcomes.
“I can confirm that we did receive the complaints but I can’t tell you what we intend to do because it concerns the structures of the party,” Mbumba confirmed.
Mbumba also advised all Swapo structures to adhere to the party’s constitution.
Mbumba further noted: “If you chair something (district conference) that you are not supposed to chair, that is an irregularity. It does not matter who the person is, it is a question of proper procedures of the party which we must all adhere to.”
Chairperson of the leaders assigned to Oshikoto Penda Ya Ndakolo said he is concerned about the situation, saying: “I have served in the region for many years but I have never seen or experienced what is happening now. I am extremely concerned because I do not want anyone to divide this country.”
Ya Ndakolo said he received a joint letter from several districts in which the members accuse Amukwiyu of convening district conferences without holding any section or branch meetings.
According to Ya Ndakolo, the complainants also claim that invitations to the district conferences were only extended to some “individuals” while others were left out.
“In the letter, they also claim that Amukwiyu told them that the upcoming Congress will be an extraordinary congress and not ordinary,” said Ya Ndakolo as he read the contents of the letter to this reporter.
He concluded: “I received the letter containing the complaints, but it is not my job to judge who is right or wrong. As leaders we must now go to the people on the ground and establish what the truth is. But one thing that is clear, is that people must be allowed to exercise their democracy.”
Amukwiyu denied any wrongdoing charging he was well versed with party rules and regulations.
“I am a promoter of Swapo constitution. I play by and follow the rules and abide by the constitution. I am not a newcomer in the party’s leadership.
I have followed all the processes and I have records to prove in case there is anything that you want me to prove beyond reasonable doubt,” Amukwiyu dismissed.
Amukwiyu added: “I don’t think the Secretary General (Mbumba) would entertain something that is tabled to his office without following the proper structures of commutation. How does a branch or section or even a district just report straight to the Secretary General without following the proper structures?”
The Oshikoto regional coordinator said those making accusations against him were “anti-Amukwiyu” or were vying for the position he currently occupies.
“There could be elements of witch-hunting by those who are anti-Armas Amukwiyu.
I am a member of Swapo who is doing what I am supposed to in terms of the constitution and the mandate given to me by the members of the party.
If the people ask me to lead them in the region, I am available and those who do not want must prove that through the elective processes,” Amukwiyu added.
When asked whether he had indeed chaired the district conferences as alleged, Amukwiyu said he was not involved in “sub-organs” of Swapo.
“I am not involved in the sections, branches and district conferences in terms of voting.
I just oversee as the per the constitutional requirement. I do not even chair the district conferences, district coordinators are the ones that chair district conferences,” Amukwiyu concluded.
The fight for Oshikoto has been under the spotlight lately, mainly because of the fallout between Amukwiyu and party leader Hage Geingob.
Amukwiyu was one of those who put their head on the chopping block for Geingob in 2012. But after Geingob got to State House, the once-enviable relationship between the two soured for reasons only known to them.
Amukwiyu has since entered into what many term an unholy alliance with his 2012 political enemies in the form of pro Jerry Ekandjo supporters such as Dr. Elijah Ngurare and Job Amupanda to name but a few.
The alliance which has huge following in the party has drawn its swords pointed towards Geingob and political disciples.
A party source privy to the district conferences said there was nothing wrong with Amukwiyu overseeing district conferences.
“Constitutionally there is nothing wrong because the district coordinator cannot oversee an election in which he is a candidate. It is common knowledge in Swapo that during internal elections sections are overseen over by the branch coordinator; branch elections are overseen by the district coordinator and regional elections are overseen by the leaders assigned to the region.
That is not rocket science, those who are disputing it must go to the Swapo Party School to acquaint themselves with the party Constitution,” said the source.
The 11 districts in Oshikoto are Tsumeb, Nehale Ya Mpingana, Guinas, Okankolo, Eengodi, Omuntele, Olukonda, Oniipa, Onayena, Onyaanya and Omuthiya.
Amukwiyu won but one of the districts where conferences were held so far, apart from his homeground in Omuthiya that was won by ex-PLAN combatant Max Nekongo.