Jerry verdict coming on Friday

Martin Endjala

The final decision on Jerry Ekandjo to rejoin the race for the Swapo Vice Presidency will be decided at a Swapo Party Central Committee meeting slated for Friday in Windhoek.
Ekandjo was beaten to the post by Defence Minister, Frans Kapofi, who came fourth in the elimination contest ahead of Ekandjo and Minister and Energy Minister, Tom Alweendo. Kapofi was the fourth candidate after Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, Saara Kuukongelwa-Amadhila, who qualified automatically and Environment, Tourism and Forestry Minister, Pohamba Shifeta.

Immediately after the central committee elimination process on 10 September, Ekandjo threatened to challenge the process on the basis that Kapofi and Alweendo participated in the process unconstitutionally.

However, Ekandjo joined the race without registering a protest against the participation of the two.

After coming through as the fourth candidate in the VP race for the November congress of the party, Kapofi suddenly withdrew from the race siding family issues.

An invitation letter dated 16 October was circulated by the secretary general, Sophia Shaningwa yesterday, inviting all central committee members of the party, scheduled for this coming Friday at parliament.

Through his lawyer Richard Metcalf, Ekandjo challenged the decision to eliminate him from the race, while questioning why he was not allowed to replace Kapofi, who withdrew from the contest.

Speaking to the Windhoek Observer, political analyst Ndumba Kamwenya, opined that there is a possibility that the CC may allow Ekandjo to return to the race, in order to rectify party mistakes.

Kamwenya said that the correct procedures and processes were not followed, after Kapofi withdrew from the race, arguing that Ekandjo should have automatically replace Kapofi as a candidate.

The political analyst further stated that the Helmut Angulas amendments were not adhered too, hence, he is of the view that a case could be made to nullify the current campaign.

However, other analysts earlier pointed out that Kapofi and Alweendo candidacies were not unconstitutional, as the Helmut Amendments were only applicable to members who joined the party after the adoption of the changes, which was in 2018 as per Transitional Provisions adopted together with the amendments.

Kamwenya predicts that they (central committee) will allow him, despite it being too late for the campaign, ‘’it will be in the best interests if the party has to safe itself from the blunders it made’’.

He said that that the argument that ‘’one’s one is eliminated from the race, its final’’, is an incorrect

interpretation as the matter can also be argued on both sides.

Meanwhile, a source in the party told the Windhoek Observer that Ekandjo went through all the processes of nominations, where he was eliminated and ones a candidate is eliminated from the race, they cannot be allowed to participate again.

The source also indicated that one’s a candidate is outvoted from the race, that concludes their run for the position, further stating that, in allowing such candidate back on the VP list, will mean that a new nomination process will have to be re-opened again, while bearing in mind that those who were also voted out, will have to be recalled, a process which will be a step back from what the campaign has already achieved.

The party source said the Friday CC meeting may just end up discussing amending some campaign

rules, while parking the discussing on Ekandjo, as ‘’there is no issue’’, the source told the Windhoek Observer.

Swapo’s lawyers in the matter Mururua, Kurtz, Kasper Inc in reply to Ekandjo’s legal representative, Richard Metcalfe said that although the former minister participated in the elimination process without any protest and was duly eliminated and suffered no prejudice, he ‘’remains at liberty to submit his case to the Central Committee for its consideration’’.

At this stage the outcome of the Central Committee meeting is anyone’s guess, but the contestants are all waiting with bated breath for the re-entry of Ekandjo or for the door to be shut on him finally.

Whatever the decision, it will only make things much more interesting given all eyes focused on the

party’s internal campaigns, which have reached the halfway mark and has now moved to the north central regions with the most delegates to the 7th Swapo Party Congress.

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