Swapo elects Omaheke 'pot' representatives

17 Aug 2014 11:10am
GOBABIS, 17 AUG (NAMPA) - The Swapo-Party last week elected the Omaheke Region's representatives to the party's national elective conference slated for the end of this month.
Party activist Fessie Marenga and Walbruga Katamelo are the two party members who will represent Omaheke in the 'pot', as the elective conference is also known.
The delegates to the regional party event appeared to have more faith in the younger legion of leaders as opposed to the party’s old guards, who have been at the helm for many years.
Marenga garnered 41 votes out of 49 votes verified, with his only challenger - Swapo national leader assigned to the Omaheke Region, Dr Ngarikutuke Tjiriange - only managing eight votes.
The women’s race, which saw Katamelo emerging victorious with 25 votes, was close as Nono Katjingisiua gave her competitor a good run for her money by ending the race with 20 votes.
For the first time in its history, the party utilised a totally different voting system to elect candidates for the electoral college by making use of two lists containing male and female contenders, respectively.
Delegates were expected to vote for one candidate from each list.
This was done to conform to the party's stance in favour of the 'zebra style' of 50-50 representation between women and men on the party's structures.
Swapo-Party Regional Coordinator for the Omaheke Region, Kejamuina Mungendje described the process as free and fair, and conducted in the spirit of camaraderie.
He, however, expressed concern with the high number of spoilt ballots encountered during the election process, attributing it to the new voting system put in place to accommodate more women participation.
“The high number of spoilt ballots was really a concern, but one would understand as people were dealing with an entirely new system as opposed to the old one where they just voted for people from one list,” he said.
Four other regional delegates were elected for the national elective conference.
They are Omaheke Regional Governor Festus Ueitele, Gideon Kavari of the Okorukambe district, Swapo-Party Women’s League Omaheke Secretary Bianca van Wyk, and Petra Witbooi, also from the Swapo women’s league.
Although these delegates will be present at the national conference, they will not have the opportunity to be voted onto the parliamentary list.
National leaders assigned to Omaheke, the Member of Parliament (MP) representing the region and the party regional coordinators are automatic qualifiers to the 'pot'.
In the case of Omaheke, the national leaders are Ngarikutuke Tjiriange, Isak Katali, Becky Ndjoze-Ojo, Immanuel Ngatjizeko, and Epukiro constituency councillor Ruth Kaukuata-Mbura. The Deputy Minister of Education, Sylvia Makgone is the regional MP, while Mungendje completes the list in his capacity as the party's regional coordinator for Omaheke.