Swapo axes all Grootfontein councillors for “supporting opposition”

Eba Kandovazu

Two votes by Swapo councilors to elect an opposition party member as the chairperson of the Management Committee has derailed the political careers of all four Swapo councillors on the Grootfontein local authority.

The Swapo Grootfontein Executive Committee accused the councillors of supporting the opposition.

Today, the executive announced the suspension of Talitha Garises, Tuhafeni Simon, Anna Uchurus, Fastudu Malwa, Susan Swartz and Innocent Madons with immediate effect on accusations that they “embarrassed” Swapo by attending the swearing-in and election of the Management Committee Chairperson under the leadership of ‘Counter Revolutionary forces’ whose main objective is to destroy Swapo.

The suspension was confirmed by John Haimbodi, Swapo’s Grootfontein District Coordinator. Haimbodi said the decision to suspend the six councilors was decided at a District Executive Committee meeting held last Thursday.

“The District Executive Committee of Grootfontein District is dismayed and embarrassed with the recent swearing-in of office bearers at our Grootfontein Municipal Council in which the opposition forces such as PDM and IPC took over the Council. The SWAPO PARTY fought hard and tirelessly to win four seats at the 2019 Regional and Local Authority Elections. Comrades, we invested our limited resources that ensured that Grootfontein remained under direct control and governance of the SWAPO PARTY. We shall never allow opposition forces to hijack our hard won elections and the decision of the District Executive Committee of Grootfontein is sending a warning to all rank and file members within the District of Grootfontein that we shall never tolerate indiscipline in the district further on,” Haimbodi said.

Haimbodi accused the councilors of failing to comply with provisions relating to their official position in Swapo “by allowing opposition forces or counter revolutionary forces to form a majority in Grootfontein Municipal Council’s Management Committee, without clear mandate from the Swapo Party”.

He also alleges that they organized and participated in illegal District Executive Committee meetings for the deployment of office bearers, acting against the directive of the Swapo party Secretary General Sophia Shaningwa.

“They also organised and Participated in an illegal District Conference, this undermined the District Executive Committee governance architecture and embarrassed the Swapo Party. Without having obtained the permission of the Regional Executive Committee and/or District Executive Committee, they disclosed confidential information gained by or conveyed to them by virtue of their party membership or holding of party office and used such information for any purpose other than the performance of their official duties,” Haimbodi stressed.

According to him, the suspended councilors also colluded with members not in the structures of the Party with the aim to sabotage the democratic processes and undermine the District Executive Committee’s powers and also failed to comply with the party’s constitution.

“They behaved in such a way to provoke and cause division or breakdown of the Swapo party unity and participated in organized factional activities that went beyond the recognized norms of free debate inside Swapo. They engaged in activities that undermined the interests of Swapo and which promoted interests of other political parties,” he explained, adding that they continue to divide the party.

Insubordination also forms part of the accusations.

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