“Cde. President, Don’t Handover Power.”

Martin Endjala

In a surprise turn of events, Swapo Party President Hage Geingob on Saturday publicly endorsed his Vice President, Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah as the party’s 2024 Presidential candidate, months after he reportedly suggested that an extraordinary congress would be held to endorse the party candidate and hinting that he would step down as party president.

Geingob had left many Swapo members guessing and devising all sorts of conspiracy theories about his successor as the party president and subsequently that of Namibia when he announced November last year that an elective congress will be held to choose a presidential candidate for next year’s general elections. Many viewed this statement as Geingob clearly rebuking the re-election of Nandi Ndaitwah as SwapoParty Vice President and the presumptive presidential candidate for Swapo for the November elections in 2024. One clear theory is that the sudden elevation of Sisa Namandje into the highest political ranks of the Swapo Party. Namandje, who had no promient positioni n the Swapo structures at the time attended the SwapoParty Congress by invitation of President Geingob. He was then appointed directly to the party’s powerful Central Committee and then subsequently to the Politburo. Many speculated that Geingob was giving clear signals that Ndaitwah was in for a challenge for the top Swapo position again. Howev
er, geingob’sclear endorsement put the matter to rest and Nandi-Ndaitwah will be the flagbearer for Swapo in 2024.

At the Central Committee meeting held on Saturday, Geingob also urged party members to put aside their differences and show support for Nandi-Ndaitwah, saying it is in the best interest of the party and the nation at large. With that announcement, Geingob sent the clearest signal that Ndaitwah is the one. Geingob said that it does not help for members to continue holding grudges or complaining, although it is within their rights.

“What is done is done already, an election took place in which all party delegates participated. It is now the time for you members to accept the results and move on so that the party can continue with its duties with your support towards the elected members and not dwell on things of the past. Do not hate the person, but you must rather play the ball”, the President said.Geingob has since advised members to stop spreading “rumors” about the party’s candidate for the 2024 elections, as to when these will be undertaken.

Geingob said that the appropriate time is not yet here, but they have decided that Nandi-Ndaitwah is the sole candidate to run for the 2024 presidential elections. “Stop the rumors and causing fear, the time is not yet”, Geingob said.

Currently, Geingob is still at the helm of the party president’s seat, until the appropriate time arrives to hand over the symbols of power to Nandi-Ndaitwahwhich will see Geingob remaining as a permanent central committee member.

Tasks will soon be assigned to the new central committee members after a four-day elective congress of the ruling party which took place last year in November 2022 and saw 35 men elected and 35 women elected to serve in the central committee for the next five years. The central committee is the highest decision-making body.

The top four positions are occupied by, President Hage Geingob, party President, Vice-President by NetumboNandi-Ndaitwah, Secretary General by Sophia Shaningwa, and Uahekua Herunga as Deputy Secretary General. They automatically qualify as members of the CC.

Geingob further warned against members forming faction groups amongst each other, saying that it derails party efforts in fully carrying out its mandates as well as robbing the nation of benefiting from the party’s promises which is to serve the nation’s interests.

Some prominent supporters of Nandi-Ndaitwah are calling for Geingob to hand over the Swapo party reigns to his Vice President as was the case whenformer President Hifikepunye Pohamba handed over to Geingob who was the Vice President of the SwapoParty, but the President of the country at the time.

Geingob who announced last year that he is serving his full term as Swapo Party President didn’t pronounce himself on a possible “handing over” of power to Nandi-Ndaitwah.

In 2015 President Pohamba relinquished his SwapoParty presidency to Geingob, stating at the time that , “The president of Swapo should have the full authority to manage the affairs of the country and the affairs of Swapo. Some are saying that Pohamba has resigned himself from the position, I have not resigned; I have simply handed over the full power to Hage Geingob. Don’t go and say there are problems in Swapo. I did not resign because I had an argument [with Geingob] and we will never quarrel,” he said.

At the time, many Swapo central committee members were not happy with Pohamba’s decision, accusing him of bringing the party into disrepute which might have brought instability in the party and the country. Former cabinet ministers and the late Marco Hausiku and Isak Katali were the most vocal on Pohamba’s resignation. At the time Katali wanted Pohamba to make a distinction between” handing over of power and delegation of power,” Geingob himself has always been vocal against two centers of power although the phenomenon is not alien to Swapo. At the time of his retirement president Sam Nujoma was the president of the Swapo Party while Pohamba was the country’s president and the Vice President of Swapo. However, a prominent Swapo member was opposed against a possible “handing over of Party instruments of power” to Nandi-Ndaitwah, was vehemently opposed against the idea.”Why must we keep violating the party constitution to benefit individuals? If Comrade Netumbo wants to become party president she must just wa
it until 2027 when our duly elected party president’s term come to end. Therefore, I say, comrade President please protect our Party constitution and serve your full term.”

At the meeting, six candidates who made it to the Central Committee but were not present at last year’s swearing-in, were also duly sworn in by confirmation of oath. Peya Mushelenga, Sebastian Kalupu,NEvelynNawases-Taeyele, Ottilie Shinduvi, Moffat Sileze and Peter Nevonga were sworn in.

Related Posts