An impasse between the ruling party’s top leadership and Oshikoto regional coordinator Armas Amukwiyu has ensued as a result of his actions. In the months leading to the highly anticipated Swapo congress slated for November, Amukwiyu has been called all sorts of names by Swapo’s top dogs who accuse the latter of being “a law unto himself and thinking he is bigger than the party”. His detractors Amukwiyu have accused him of de-campaigning and trying to unseat current Swapo Acting President Hage Geingob. Party insiders claim Geingob’s open-door policy and closing tender taps has turned them into enemies who are doing everything and anything possible to topple him. But while the party is focusing its energy on Amukwiyu, the battle for power continues unchecked in other regions.
In a telephonic interview with The Patriot, Amukwiyu said he is surprised by the level of attention on the political affairs of the region and himself. Amukwiyu said the Swapo structures in Oshikoto are not to blame for the political ruckus in the region, adding that “all the problems circulating in the media were being created at the party’s Head Quarters in Windhoek.” “What is so special about the Oshikoto Region this time around? My regional executive committee, my regional leadership and the entire rank and file and members, in their sections and branches, collectively and individually have begun to question the sudden wave of attention,” he said. Amukwiyu downplayed allegations that he disregards orders from party leadership and that he has taken matters into his own hands “because I abide by the Swapo Party Constitution.”
Amukwiyu warned that those using their positions, Swapo and state machinery to destroy him were not only harming “Amukwiyu, but the Swapo Party and its people”. “They think they are dealing with Armas Amukwiyu as a person but Armas Amukwiyu is only a regional coordinator. Therefore whatever they are doing, they are harming the structure of the Party. They are targeting the structure of the Party in Oshikoto. They are targeting the membership in Oshikoto, supporters and sympathisers of Swapo. They are targeting the voters,” he warned.
Amukwiyu added: “They must forget about fighting or targeting Amukwiyu. It is not about me. Surely one can only say there are personal vendettas by those who are doing these things. They are the ones who are breaking the Swapo Party rules and procedures.” He lamented that certain individuals within the Swapo leadership are selectively applying the Party’s constitution only when it suits their interests. “When they know (that) constitutionally they are not winning, procedurally they are not winning then they apply their own personal things,” said a combative Amukwiyu. He added: “Obviously we feel we are being targeted, not by the Swapo Party leadership, but individuals within the leadership of Swapo. It is not Swapo I must say, its individuals. They are doing it in their own personal capacity to drive their personal vendettas with Oshikoto region.” “And perhaps they think whether they are applying Party machinery or national machinery, they think are threatening us to compromise on the principles of the Party, which we shall never do.” The party’s secretary general Nangolo Mbumba this week ordered Amukwiyu not to proceed with the hosting of the Oshikoto Regional Conference as due processes and procedures were overlooked. Mbumba said part of the reasons why the conference had to be postponed was because candidates were not vetted, no proper supervision. The conference was supposed to take place earlier this week, but indications are that it will only take place tomorrow.