OTJIWARONGO: The Swapo-Party national leaders assigned by the party’s Central Committee (CC) to assist the Otjozondjupa Region in electing its leaders, on Saturday boycotted the conference proceedings here.
The boycott was led by Health and Social Services Minister, Dr Richard Kamwi, who is the chairman of the national leaders assigned to the Otjozondjupa Region.
Kamwi was accompanied by Education Deputy Minister Dr David Namwandi, Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Water and Forestry Petrus Iilonga, and Elifas Dingara, a Member of Parliament.
These Swapo leaders walked out of the conference, claiming that it was unconstitutional, and that it defied the special conditions and directives outlined by the Swapo-Party CC.
Kamwi explained that the Swapo CC resolved during its conference last week that the Otjozondjupa Swapo-Party regional elective conference takes place without fail on 27 October 2012.
He said the same meeting also instructed the Otjozondjupa regional executive committee to include all seven districts – Otjiwarongo, Omatako, Okakarara, Okahandja, Otavi, Grootfontein and Tsumkwe.
However on Saturday, two rival groups from the Okahandja district all wanted to attend the conference, both claiming authenticity and legitimacy to represent their district.
On 09 September this year, Kamwi, Namwandi and Iilonga presided over the Okahandja district restructuring process.
Valerie Aron was elected as Okahandja District Coordinator, while Victor Nakapandi was elected as district information and mobilisation officer, and Dawid Uri-Khob as district treasurer.
However, Acting Swapo-Party regional coordinator for the Otjozondjupa Region, Susan Hikopua and former Otjozondjupa Regional Swapo coordinator, Otto Iipinge, are claiming that the restructuring exercise conducted then was illegal. Okahandja Councillor Steve Biko Boois is part of the other group also claiming authenticity.
The Otjozondjupa Swapo executive committee then decided to exclude all of them from participating in the Saturday conference.
This irked Kamwi and the other national leaders and they subsequently walked out of the meeting when all their efforts failed to convince the Otjozondjupa executive committee to allow the legitimate Okahandja delegates to participate.
Kamwi, Iilonga, Dingara and Namwandi then drove back to Windhoek angrily.
The conference then proceeded with 36 district delegates, and without the Okahandja delegates, Kamwi and the other national leaders. The conference re-elected Hikopua to the position of Otjozondjupa Regional Coordinator, while Otjozondjupa Regional Governor Rapama Kamehozu, was re-elected as regional information and mobilisation officer and Julius Nauyoma Neumbo as treasurer.
Otjozondjupa was the only region that had failed to finalise its Swapo restructuring exercise. On 22 July this year, it held a regional elective conference in which Hikopua was elected to the position of Otjozondjupa Swapo Regional Coordinator, Kamehozu as regional information and mobilisation officer and Neumbo as a treasurer.
However, in August 2012, the Swapo Secretariat in Windhoek declared the July Otjozondjupa Regional elective conference as null and void based on allegations of political squabbles and stifling of the Swapo-Party activities during the Okahandja district conference.