08 Sep 2013 06:40
GOBABIS, 08 SEP (NAMPA) Swapo-Party Secretary-General (SG) Nangolo Mbumba has thrown his weight behind the partys new constitution which especially highlights the need to have a 50-50 representation between men and women in the partys leadership.
Mbumba, who was speaking during the official ceremony marking his familiarisation visit to the Omaheke Region on Friday, said women have been short-changed for long while they are in fact the ones who drive most of the partys programmes.
Swapo recently passed legislation as part of its constitution amendments allowing for zebra style leadership whereby women and men will have an equal representation in the partys leadership.
The Swapo SG said it was high time that the contribution of women to the independence of the country and beyond that period be properly recognised.
The amendment of the party constitution to involve the 50-50 representation is a major step for the Swapo-Party in keeping with regional (Southern African Development Community) instruments that call for such representation at government level so as to bring women to the forefront of decision making processes, he said.
Mbumba had high praise for the Omaheke Regions party structures at all levels of governance for doing its best to have a substantial number of women representation.
He particularly referred to the local authority level; where the Swapo-led Gobabis Municipality have women in the top two positions namely the Chairperson (Mayor) and Deputy Chairperson of council.
The council is led by Mayor Sila Bezuidenhoudt, who is deputised by Elizabeth Amutenya.
The Witvlei Village Council, led by Livey van Wyk as Chairperson, also received praise from the Swapo Secretary-General for keeping the 50-50 vision alive.
Mbumba however said more needs to be done to ensure that more women go through the ranks at leadership positions, in order to ensure that the party was indeed represented in Parliament through a zebra system between men and women.
If we are to reach our goal of having such representation at Government level, we need to start in the lowest structures of the party. We need to ensure enough women representation at section, branch, district and regional levels before we can be satisfied at party national level that we have attained such numbers, he stressed.
Mbumba was set to visit a few projects run by the youth in the Otjinene Constituency as part of his familiarisation visit, which he said was to touch base with the leadership of Omaheke and to brief them on some of the partys upcoming programmes.
He was expected back in Windhoek on Sunday.