Suspended Swapo coordinator wants Helmut amendments ditched

Eba Kandovazu

A host of demands by a suspended member of Swapo to set aside the provisions of the Swapo Party constitution that deal with the qualification for candidature for election to the top four of the party.

The changes to the party constitution now referred to as Helmut Angula amendments that were adopted in 2018 requires a Swapo Party member to have served 10 years continuously on the Central Committee to be eligible for nomination to run for the top four party position, namely that of the President, Vice President, Secretary General and the deputy.

Reinghold Shipwkineni, was the former branch district coordinator of the Swapo Kahenge branch, is through his lawyer, is calling on the Party to drop the amendments before 25 March 2022.

Swapo’s lawyer Dirk Conradie says that the amendment of the constitution will only be possible through constitutional provisions pertaining to the procedural requirements.

In his letter, Shipwikineni requested for the re-amendment of Article 15(8), Article 16(8), Article 17(14) and Article 18 (8), through his lawyer Kadhila Amoomo in a letter dated 3 February 2022.

He additionally demands that an “Enlarge Extraordinary Congress” be held as soon as possible and before 25 March 2022 to change the articles which he says are a impediment to the party and it’s future leadership.

Shipwikineni says in his letter that no one in the history of Swapo has served in the Central Committee as a member for 10 years consistently.

Conradi, responding on behalf of Swapo’s Secretary General, Sophia Shaningwa said that Shipwikineni’s assertions of the party’s future are mere speculations and are baseless.

Shaningwa says the party’s constitution makes no provision for an “enlarged” extraordinary congress, adding that it is an invention of Shipwikinen imagination.

He also demanded that the Swapo Party War Veterans Association be recognised, as a wing for the Party, to which Shaningwa said was not up to her as the SG to decide.

“Your client ought to be aware that the Swapo Party constitution at this stage only recognizes three wings being the Swapo Party Youth League (SPYL), Swapo Party Women’s Council (SPWC) and Swapo Party Elders Council (SPEC). Any new wing will have to be recognized and included through recognised procedures and it is not for the Secretary General to do so, “ Conradie wrote.

Shipwikineni further demanded that the vacancy of the Deputy Secretary General after the death Marco Hausiku last year be filled by the candidate who ran against him at the 2017 congress.

“We further demand for any Member of the Party involved or convicted for any criminal charges in corruption to voluntarily resign from any responsibilities or should be removed from office.

Lastly, Swapo members should be allowed to stand for President, Vice President, Secretary General and Deputy Secretary General positions at all levels nominated from the bottom to top at the coming Ordinary Congress for the year 2022, and in future,”, Amoomo’s letter reads.

Conradie says that although Shaningwa would want to take action to have members accused and found guilty of crimes removed, the matter is squarely the responsibility of the congress.

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