Swapo Campaign: Capability should trump age

Obrein Simasiku

Swapo Party Youth League (SPYL) member, Sioni Ikela says the Swapo Party and the country needs a capable person with a management acumen and leadership skills, to be able to turn around the nation’s problems into fortunes, further asserting that age is not a factor to steer this country out of the turbulent waters.

Ikela said this as he revealed his support for Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila as his preferred candidate for the Swapo Party vice president (VP) position during the 7th congress slated for the end of November; and hopefully the next president if she emerges in the 2024 National Presidential Elections. She is battling it out with incumbent Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah and Pohamba Shifeta, the minister of Environment, Forestry and Tourism.

Ikela says Kuugongelwa-Amadhila, has vast experience in leadership roles, as someone who served for a longer period in terms of planning, laying out the blueprint of the government, before going into the financial arm of the state and eventually becoming the chief administrator of government, as Prime Minister.

“Here we are talking about the first female Director General of the National Planning, also the first Finance Minister, before becoming a Prime Minister steering the administration of the county. Therefore, the trend should continue, for her to become the next first female President of this country, not just because she is a woman, but because of her capabilities and rich knowledge and expertise in governance and leadership, in which she has been groomed in,” he said.

He added “Saara possesses all that we need, leadership, management acumen and the stamina of not only the body but the brain. The brain needs to make sure to direct strategic actions in the right direction. Therefore, such setbacks need a young and energetic person who is exposed to the economic dynamics and challenges. I can tell you, if you take the whole Swapo leadership no one can beat her to that, she studied economics, and came to put it into practice.’’

He was however quick to state that, the current economic status of the country should not be blamed on the current leadership but on natural calamities such as the droughts, floods and Covid-19.

DSG de-campaigning

Ikela, is not happy with the way in which some of the candidates are their supporters are campaigning, contrary to the campaign code of conduct.

“The issue of concern is that some leaders when they are done addressing, they leave with the delegates, I feel pity for the DSG candidates because they address only few delegates as many have left and I observed this in Zambezi. Therefore, one would think that there should be a sort of rotation, so that not only those at the bottom are feeling the bad side, but one can start from the bottom upwards to give them a chance to be heard,” he suggested.

“At the end of the campaign, others will not be exposed enough to the regional delegates, which will disadvantage them, but the whole set up of internal address is quite a good move, and I support it, however, I repeat some people in the leadership are exploiting the rules,” he stressed, while referring to the top leaders, who he accuses of breaking the rules.

He also shed some light on the events of candidate visitation to Swakopmund, Erongo and Katima Mulilo, Zambezi, where it was alleged that delegates walked out when their preferred candidates were done presenting. “People did not really walkout but around six delegates moved out, but I regard that as a failed strategy where they thought they would all leave. However, it seems only those few individuals bought the idea. In Zambezi it was not that bad, but a huge turnout mobilised from all over was present.”

He is therefore worried that, saying this is a deceptive campaign which goes against the laid out rules. “On the other hand, it is not a worrying state because these are non-delegates who will not vote, so it is not affecting anyone apart from the candidates who are pumping resources under the disguise of supporters, yet non beneficial which is a loss and waste of resources,” he reacted.

Exploitative leaders

He continued to says, the leaders who are renting crowds are causing chaos which defeats the purpose of unity. “The renting of chanting mobs is working against the notion of unity. How can the top leaders be at the forefront, it is completely wrong and unacceptable,” he lamented.

“The intention of closed door, is very good, we really have to curtail disunity among ourselves as comrades. More still needs to be done, cause I have observed those who took the decision break the laws. rented mob from all over the country under the pretext of having support, but you realise 99% are not delegates, but see now people want to destroy the decisions taken unify during congress and afterwards,” he added.

“I would like to salute the leadership for the unifying campaign rules because this is one of the outcome or resolutions from the Party Introspection of 2020, and I can’t thank them enough. However, I am deeply concerned that the same leaders that came with the rules are the same breaking the principles laid out, you find that they are buying and mobilising a mob whenever they are meeting the delegates,” Ikela chastisised.

You have my vote

Ikela did not end there as he had some praises for the Oshikoto Swapo regional Coordinator Armas Amukwiyu who is competing against the incumbent Sophia Shaningwa for the Secretary General (SG) position.

“This is someone I differed with in the past, because of his generational vision, we came to realise his potential, hence the reason why I am standing up to support him freely without favour or fear. Amukwiyu went through the ranks and file of the party from sections, branch until where he is now as regional coordinator where he has reigned for the longest time.

Ikela commended Amukwiyu for his vision of steering the economic agenda. “Amukwiyu is of the view that, the older generation brought us independence and freedom, ours now is to steer the economic agenda, that is why his fighting to unite the youth and avoid any division, because the goal is one, of economic emancipation, and grow the country.”

‘’Also his generally a unifier, you can recall how Oshikoto was tested with the emergence of RDP especially in Omuthiya, but where is it now, it was thrashed through his work and that of Pendukeni Iivula Ithana,’’ reminisced the outspoken SPYL member.

“Even today, Oshikoto is testimony, as it is among the regions where no local authority or constituency is under the opposition. So for any wise person, would be able to know and understand what a good leader Amukwiyu is.”

“I therefore have the confidence he will unify and make the party as solid as never before, because his tested, he will be able to build bridges among comrades that are fighting each other. This is a man who can mobilise and has that rare commodity of unity, Oshikoto is a perfect example,” he added.

The same goes to Evelyn Nawatises Tayele, she has served in various positions from sections, branch, regions and in the Youth Wing leadership as a deputy SG.

“Therefore she equally has the wealth understanding of the structures and functions of the party. The problem we have is members not understanding the structures and its function, these ones were groomed, Tayele became the first female Chief Whip of the Swapo party. She is fit, able and powerful, as she knows how to work with young and old across board, that makes her distinctive,” stressed Ikela..

Tayele is battling it out with Lucia Witbooi, Uahekua Herunga, and David Hamutenya.

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