By Eliaser Ndeyanale
THE Swapo Party Women’s Council (SPWC) on Saturday elected 13 members out of 32 contestants to serve in its national executive committee at the political party’s headquarters in Windhoek.
Members of the SPWC national executive committee get an automatic ticket to attend the Swapo party elective congress.
Former Swapo party secretary general Pendukeni Iivula-Ithana, current Minister of Home Affairs, scooped the first position. Iivula-Ithana received the highest votes at 38 out of 50 to become elected first into the SPWC’s national executive committee, while the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah is second on the important list ahead of the ruling party’s congress later this year. She garnered 30 votes.
In the third position is Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly, Loide Kasingo who also got 30 votes.
Pohamba-era minister of Gender Equality Rosalia Nghidinwa came in at fourth position, followed by Deputy Minister of Mines and Energy, Kornelia Shilunga.
Adelheid Damases who has no political profile to speak of, is at number six on the list – she got 28 votes compared to veteran politician Clara Bohitile who failed to make the cut. Bohitile was deputy minister of Basic Education and Culture in founding president Sam Nujoma’s era.
Katrina Liswani and Agnes Pelekelo are new faces to the list as well as Swapo Member of Parliament in the National Assembly Emilia Amupewa, Rundu Urban constituency councillor Victoria Kauma and Rebekka Iitembu.
Former mayor of Okahandja town Tonata Shipena is also in; she got 23 votes.
Amongst those who failed to be elected are first Okahao town council mayor Hilda Namwenyo Aipinge, Ncuncini constituency councillor Rosa Kavara, Eenhana councillor Olivia Hanghuwo, and Guinas constituency councillor Beatrice Kaula.
Former ambassador to Zimbabwe Mwetulamba Shingenge-Haipinge and Swapo MP in the National Assembly Lina Ndilipo Namupala also did not make it.
Ahead of the elections, SPWC secretary Eunice Ipinge cautioned delegates not to elect women on the basis of their friendship or tribe or region but to elect those comrades who can implement the council’s new development agenda – “comrades who will work in the interest of all Namibian women”.
“Let us elect women who will ensure that our noble goals become a reality for all our women”.
She also called upon all delegates to engage in an inevitable process of making the party and the nation a better place with all key agents involved, to the best of their ability.
“Like never before unity is highly needed for the strategic positioning of SPWC to go forward. Unification of broad membership of Swapo women and that of Swapo party should take centre stage as we strive to find our rightful place as we contribute to the socio-economic development of our country,” Ipinge said.
She further called on women to abide to the constitutions of the party and SPWC.
“Combating factionalism, regionalism and all divisive tendencies hence, our leaders must avail themselves to be a catalyst of unity. We should not make unity lip talk,” she said.
According to Ipinge, Swapo women need to maintain their mandate as a wing that is women’s platform and transmission belt of Swapo party policy, ideology and political programme with a specific mission to mobilise women to actively participate in the political, social, cultural, economic transformation of Namibia.
“Though we have 50/50 representation in the party structures and the number of women in Parliament, there are still powerful institutions which remain male bastions especially in the private sector, judiciary and constituency councils.
“Most importantly full gender equality has not been sufficiently mainstreamed and policies including our own party policies and some specific issues concerning women have been largely ignored. The congress of SPWC has passed resolutions related to some of these issues”.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015