Nekongo warned not to neglect SPYL ……breaks silence on youth league endorsement

 

Obrein Simasiku

The Secretary of the Swapo Party Youth League may lose his influence over the organ when he goes to the National Assembly, after his appointment as a member of Parliament by President Hage Geingob.This is because Ephraim Negongo will now be required to focus on two jobs, while he should be preparing for his campaign to be re-elected in his current portfolio.

Negongo is replacing the former Minister of Public Enterprises, Leon Jooste, but as an ordinary MP.

Political analysts the Windhoek Observer spoke to says going to parliament for two-and-a-half years may impact negatively on his political future in the party that is riddled with factional fights.

Negongo is the sole nominee for the secretary position at the upcoming SPYL congress at last month’s central committee of the wing.

It is felt that he will not focus fully on both positions i.e. MP and Secretary of the Youth League and that he will give more attention to this new responsibility which will take up most of his time, judging from the many issues he wants to take on in Parliament.

Nekongo, told the Windhoek Observer in a telephonic interview, that he is going to Parliament to exercise and ‘’use all the powers vested in him to address youth matters such as economic emancipation and employment creation’’.

The youth leader emphasised that people like making too many promises which they later do not fulfil, thus he will let his work speak for itself as he looks forward to resuming duty in the legislative house. He also hinted at fighting for the repeal of outdated colonial laws,

“I cannot say I am going to address this and that. One thing you should know is Parliament is a house of processes and not only a one-man show. However, I will be very proactive in debates to influence decisions. So at this stage, it is premature to present an avalanche of things, but certainly my collective efforts will speak for themselves,” he stated in the interview.

Nekongo also cleared the air that his appointment to National Assembly will not have an impact on his youth league activities. “Look, we are trained to serve as such to simultaneously serve in different capacities. Therefore, I am not resigning neither relinquishing my position as SPYL secretary general,” he emphatically stated, dispelling any confusion.

Political commentator Nduma Kamwanya said it would be naive for Nekongo to relinquish his SPYL position for a short-term leadership role, adding these are turbulent times. “If he does that [resign], he should certainly have a plan, because definitely he would have slim chances of ascending to power again, especially now that the congress is around the corner,” opined Kamwanya.

The President ‘Heard You’

Kamwanya however welcomed the youthful appointment, stating that, it signifies that President Hage Geingob has heard the cries of the youth particularly those in the SPYL, who have been complaining about being side-lined to serve in top decision-making bodies, despite forming part of the party’s integral structures.

“There has been cries, among the SPYL, when the President was appointing young people outside the structures, even though they were youthful. Therefore, Nekongo’s appointment shows the President has once again heard and reacted to their cries by appointing a youth within the structures,” he emphasised.

Endorsement

Nekongo further broke his silence regarding his nomination by the National Executive Committee (NEC) as well as the Central Committee to stand again as Secretary. Despite the nomination sparking internal wrangling, he says, he was constitutionally nominated without violating any provisions of the party.

He said, the nomination which includes that of his deputy Christine Haindaka, to retain their positions was done above board, democratically and constitutionally.

An aspirant contender for Negongo’s position, Timotheus Angala, who is a member of the central committee, wrote a petition to Swapo secretary general Sophia Shangingwa to nullify the endorsement of the duo arguing that it was done unconstitutionally and defeats their democratic right to participate.

Angala further contended that the regional secretaries cannot decide on the nominations of national office bearers without seeking consent from their regional structures.

“Look it is normal and it has been a norm for the NEC to hold meeting at which they deliberate on the succession of leadership, of which this was done in Otjiwarongo, where I and my deputy were told to leave the venue as deliberations went on. But before we left we were asked if we are available if nominated to serve again, to which we indicated availability,” explained Nekongo.

“After the deliberations, nominations were our done and both of us were seconded and unchallenged, of which then the NEC forwarded a recommendation to the central committee regarding the outcome. After this the CC sat, and it decided to open the nominations again, to which we emerged victorious again. Angala, was nominated but was not seconded, which made him lose. Therefore, with all that done transparently, I don’t see anything sinister other than the political game.”

By Observer