The Presidency has taken exception to claims in a local English language daily the President Hage Geingob is deliberately working against Jerry Ekandjo to exclude him from the Swapo Party Vice President race.
Ekandjo has lost on number of occasions against Geingob in Swapo election contests such as in 2015 and 2017.
‘’In the past irrespective of the defeats at Swapo Party congresses or the Electoral Colleges, President Geingob has repeatedly come to the rescue of Comrade Ekandjo,’’ the statement that was issued in response to claims by Swapo veteran, Nahas Angula that Ekandjo has reason to feel discriminated against, saying he should be given a chance.
In addition to his previous challenges for top positions in Swapo, Ekandjo failed again to garner enough support and was eliminated from the Vice President preliminaries last month.
He entered the race against Environment Minister, Pohamba Shifeta, Minister of Defence, Frans Kapofi and Tom Alweendo, the Minister of Mines and Energy. He came third in the race and was eliminated together with Alweendo. Shifeta and Kapofi joined Vice President Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah and Saara Kuukongelwa-Amadhila, who qualified automatically, after being nominated as the only women.
After the nomination process, Ekandjo immediately informed the party Alweendo and Kapofi were included in the contest against constitutional provisions, therefore if he is not allowed to join the final four after Kapofi withdrew, he would challenge the party in a court of law.
Tomorrow, the party’s central committee is meeting to entertain Ekandjo’s request to be included among the four candidates vying for the vice presidency of the party.
The presidency says the claim by Angula, that Ekandjo is ‘’getting a raw deal from the proceedings of the Swapo Party, specifically those of the Central Committee, which validated three candidates following the withdrawal of comrade Frans Kapofi from the race, is clearly misplaced’’.
The statement says Geingob is the one who has been taking Ekandjo’s hand every time after beating him fair and square in Swapo elections.
‘’Comrade Jerry Ekandjo is in Parliament due to the fact that in 2019, the President of the Swapo Party, Comrade Geingob, included Comrade Ekandjo in his list of 10 members to enter Parliament on the Swapo Party List. Therefore, to state that President Geingob is sabotaging Comrade Ekandjo’s candidature for the Swapo Party Vice Presidency is false.’’
In 2015, Ekandjo was included in Geingob’s list of eight non-voting members of Parliament, the Presidency reminds Angula.
Also, Ekandjo has not been serving in Parliament for the past seven years as a popularly elected member at the Swapo Party Electoral College, ‘’but because President Geingob repeatedly came to his rescue’’.
In 2017, while in Parliament and the Cabinet at the mercy of Geingob, the Presidency’s statement says, Ekandjo using his democratic right challenged Geingob to the Vice President position of the party.
‘’Contrary to the wrongful blaming of President Geingob for Cde Ekandjo’s recent political misfortunes, it is the people’s democracy within the Swapo Party which has on several occasions denied comrade Ekandjo the opportunity to ascend to the top leadership postions,’’ the statement concludes. Tomorrow’s Central Committee meeting can go both ways – it could decide to allow Ekandjo to join the race or finally close the door on him.
Some members are arguing that he be allowed in to restore peace and unity in the party, while others say that Ekandjo has been given an opportunity and has gone through all processes and was fairly eliminated from the race and should allow the process to continue without him.