Lawyer’s interpretation of Swapo party constitution labelled as illegitimate

Erasmus Shalihaxwe

Swapo party member, Stephanus Pombili said the legal interpretation by the party’s prominent lawyer, who is a non-voting member of both the Politburo and central committee and is also not the party’s legal affairs secretary, was flawed and illegitimate.

In a letter to all Swapo members on Tuesday, he called on them to support a court case that Reinhold Shipwikineni, Peter Shituula, and Joshua-Vaino Martins had initiated.

The trio is urging the party to hold an extraordinary congress in order to elect a party president before the November elections.

Pombili stated that since the constitution is clear and does not require an interpretation on the issue of succession, the provided legal interpretation was unnecessary.

Furthermore, the lawyer presented a document to the central committee during the extraordinary meeting on 9 March.

According to the Swapo party constitution, the Politburo resolutions cannot override the central committee’s decisions. Therefore, the central committee members present on 9 March had no say, making it a one-man show.

“The fact that Vice President Netumbo chaired both the Politburo and central committee meetings, which were meant to discuss her, resulted in conflicts of interest. The decision to postpone the extraordinary congress was unjustified and must be set aside in order to proceed as mandated,” he said.

He added that to ensure that regional members’ voices are heard and their demands are met, all regional members’ sections, branches, and districts are encouraged to support the cause and work together to make a stand.

Pombili added that arrangements for transport modalities will be made for regional members who wish to show their support during the High Court proceedings.

According to him, the court case will be heard this week in Windhoek.

“We cannot allow the Swapo party to be turned into a platform to please a few individuals. We must uphold the integrity and values of the party,” stressed Pombili.

Swapo’s central committee in March decided that 19 April 2025 would be the date when the extraordinary party congress would be held.

Party veteran Jerry Ekandjo said this decision showed that the central committee undermined the party constitution.

He insisted on the decision’s reversal.

“Failure to address the above demands, the political future of Swapo and the future generation of the party is at high risk. Swapo, as the ruling political party, is likely to lose during the general and presidential elections in November. Swapo may experience unbelievable political disastrous which might be impossible to reverse and make Swapo the ruling party again,” he said.

The party deputy secretary general, Uahekua Herunga, said on Monday that the party is ready to go to court and defend its decision to not hold an extra-ordinary congress within three months after the death of late President Hage Geingob, as stipulated in its constitution.

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