WINDHOEK: President Hifikepunye Pohamba called on Swapo-Party members and supporters not to allow themselves to be divided into factions after the nominations of candidates for the top-four positions in the party.
“Factions will only weaken the party, and cause social economic instability in the country,” said the Namibian Head of State, who is also the Swapo-Party president on Friday at the official opening of the two-day Swapo-Party Central Committee.
The meeting is being held at the Swapo-Party Caucus room at the National Assembly.
The CC meeting is expected to review and approve a number of draft reports which will be tabled at the upcoming Swapo-Party congress, slated for later this year.
These include the draft report on activities of the party since the last Congress in 2004, and a draft report on the resolutions of the Swapo-Party National Policy Conference held in September this year.
Another hot subject which will feature during the CC meeting is the finalisation of the names of the party’s cadres who will contest the top four positions in the party.
These positions are that of Swapo-Party president, Vice-President, Secretary-General and Deputy Secretary-General.
The Politburo has put forward the names of the cadres who will stand for re-election and election for the top four positions, but the CC is entitled to make further nominations.
There are currently two candidates vying for the position of Vice-President of the party, being current Vice-President Hage Geingob, who indicated that he will stand for the post during the party’s Politburo meeting which took place on 18 September this year, and current Secretary-General (SG) Pendukeni Iivula-Ithana, who was seconded for the same position.
Current Deputy SG Nangolo Mbumba was nominated and seconded for the position of Secretary-General during the last Politburo meeting, while those who were nominated to contest for the position of Deputy SG are Omaheke Regional Governor Laura McLeod-Katjirua and Minister of Environment and Tourism, Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah.
“This subject has received significant attention in our country during the past few months. The Namibian society expressed their opinions about the possible candidates who will emerge as top leaders of our party after the congress.
This is no surprise. It is to be expected because as the leading political force in Namibia, the selection of the leadership of the Swapo-Party is a matter of interest and concern to all Namibians,” he emphasised.
Pohamba then called on members of the party, especially leaders who are assigned to serve in the party’s structure, such as the Central Committee and delegates to the congress, to handle the matter with the political maturity that it truly deserves.
“We should not allow this matter to degenerate into factionalism, and divide our party and our country,” he cautioned.
If that is allowed, it will only weaken the party and cause social economic instability in Namibia, he said, explaining that it will play into the hands of detractors and prophets of doom who are currently attempting to portray the Swapo-Party as divided.
Only a stronger and united Swapo-Party will continue to implement programs and policies that are aimed at developing the country, he added.
“I count on all of you to take this message to heart, and to ensure that all of us as Swapo-Party leaders work together in unity of purpose and action to build a better future for our party and our nation,” he pleaded.
He also noted that the party should not lose sight of the fact that the country faces multiple challenges that demand immediate attention and action, such as poverty eradication, unemployment, healthcare, education, housing, electricity as well as potable water and sanitation, among others.
“These are some of the priority areas that were discussed during the Swapo-Party National Policy Conference, and they are also contained in the draft report to be considered at this meeting,” he said.
Meanwhile, Pohamba called on party members to mobilise and recruit more Namibians to make the party their political home of choice with a strong focus on bread-and-butter issues.
“Let us continue to rally together during and after this CC meeting. As we move towards the fifth congress of our party, let us focus on the duty at hand. Let us learn from the lessons of history, and ensure that the Swapo-Party remains resilient and emerges stronger than ever before to face future challenges,” he emphasised.
About 84 members of the Central Committee are attending the meeting that ends on Saturday.