Geingob brings back 'rivals' Iivula-Ithana and Ekandjo

02 Feb 2015 12:54pm
WINDHOEK, 02 FEB (NAMPA) – President-elect, Dr Hage Geingob has extended a political lifeline to his 2012 Swapo Party vice-presidential election rivals, nominating them among the eight non-voting members of parliament (MPs) who he may appoint.
Pendukeni Iivula-Ithana and Jerry Ekandjo were amongst the many senior Swapo-Party leaders who did not make the cut into the Sixth National Assembly, after the ruling party only managed to win 77 seats.
Iivula-Ithana was at number 86 on the party list, while Ekandjo was at 81.
The two contested the party's vice-presidency position at the 2012 elective congress, but lost the race to Geingob.
Apart from Iivula-Ithana and Ekandjo, Geingob on Monday also announced the names of six other people who he has nominated for the National Assembly.
These are Presidential Affairs Minister Dr Albert Kawana; Governor of the Hardap Region Katrina Hanse-Himarwa; Bishop Dr Zephania Kameeta; Dr Bernard Haufiku, a healthcare practitioner; National Petroleum Corporation of Namibia (Namcor) Managing Director Obed Kandjoze and Swapo-Party Youth League (SPYL) member Heather Sibungo.
“These are all stalwarts of the Swapo Party. In every democratic process there are winners and losers, and therefore there are always casualties,” Geingob said.
He said Iivula-Ithana, Ekandjo, Hanse-Himarwa and Kawana possess knowledge and expertise, which have been accumulated over the years and “they are of great value to the government”.
He said the other four nominees were also chosen on the basis of their expertise and gender.
Geingob further explained that during the compilation of the list, he considered many factors for the sake of peace, reconciliation and the balancing of regions.
“If you look at the Zambezi Region, most top senior leaders did not make it; and my aim is to balance. Dr Kawana has been very active as the Attorney-General, and I also saw him active in the amendment of the Constitution process. Those are the areas one looks into,” he stressed.