THE Swapo top leadership has been having nightmares with whipping in line its members in the Omaheke region, some of whom are accusing party secretary general Nangolo Mbumba of deliberately failing to intervene in a near-catastrophic power tussle and political bickering in that region.
The bone of contention, this time around, is whether Regional Governor Festus Ueitele, national council member Phillipus Katamelo and Okorumbe constituency councillor Raphael Mokaleng should continue to occupy party positions within the structures.
In seven-paged heavily worded letter to Mbumba, the complainant draws the politician’s attention to the Swapo constitution which states elected or appointed cadres have to vacate party positions upon assuming new office.
This was the case with former Swapo regional coordinator for Khomas region Godhardt Kasuto when he was elected to the National Assembly in 2014.
However, despite being appointed governor in 2013, Ueitele continues as the party’s regional mobiliser while Katamelo who joined the National Council in 2010 is comfortable in the seat of party regional treasurer since 2002.
Also, Mokaleng who ascended to power in the 2015 election is currently still the district coordinator for Okorukambe.
This has infuriated other politicians in the region who obsessively sought audience with Mbumba and party leader State President Hage Geingob.
The concerned group claimed that the three continue to breach the party’s constitution, a violation which they say Mbumba’s inaction is aiding. The group also called for action to be taken against Mbumba for allegedly allowing cadres to violate the party’s supreme law.
It is alleged that Swapo’s top leadership is deliberately ignoring the mess in the region as three politicians are expected to sway votes in a certain direction at different upcoming structure elective meetings and ultimately the national congress towards the end of the year.
In his defence Mbumba told Confidente that he met with the group and a plan of action was blueprinted.
“I think the people who came to you are far from the regional leadership. Yesterday (Tuesday) we had a meeting with the Omaheke leadership since nine o’clock in the morning including the leaders assigned, youth league and women’s leadership in the region,” Mbumba explained.
“Two weeks ago the same people were at State House airing the same concerns and issues. Yesterday (Monday) we agreed and yesterday we agreed on what steps to take at the regional, district, branch and section levels to eliminate these double positions.”
He said it was not true that he has not been taking the concerns of the Omaheke structures seriously and that: “I had more meetings with the Omaheke leaders than other group.”
Katamelo explained that the contentious clause in the party’s constitution only says those who are paying party positions should vacate those offices when elected or appointed to the other duties.
Mokaleng refused to comment and referred all queries to the party’s regional coordinator Kejamuina Mungendje.
It was Mungendje who lift the lid and laid bare the real political friction in the region
“Politics is getting difficult in the region. It is true that there are groups and cliques in Omaheke. I can confirm the meeting we had with comrade Mbumba, which was a follow-up meeting from a meeting we had with comrade party President.”
Quoting the party’s constitution, Mungendje stressed Ueitele’s position in the party is vacant and that he is only an ex-officio member of the regional executive council (REC) with no voting rights.
He then read a section indicating that those appointed and elected to fulltime positions are, per constitutional provisions, expected to vacate their party offices.
“Our leaders are translating the constitution the way they want, the way it fits me maybe to keep whomever they want in those positions.”
“This is a year of conferences and congresses, maybe keeping some of the people in these positions are to have them vote for them.”
“At the meeting (Tuesday) our party leadership reasoned a REC should always be convened to inform comrades that by virtue of being elected or appointed to other positions, they should vacate the party positions.”
“I totally disagree,” Mungendje explained, “the constitution does not say that a REC should be called to inform people to vacate their position upon taking on new fulltime assignments.”
According to him, Mbumba has instructed them to call for REC before the end of this month to sort out the mess in the region.
“I do not do party things in the media but sometimes when we get an opportunity like this to speak, your find yourselves speaking out after complaining a lot of times with no help.”
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015