Allegations of tribalism in SPWC in Kavango East

11 May 2016 19:12pm
RUNDU, 11 MAY (NAMPA) - Tension is brewing at Ndiyona in the Kavango East Region among Swapo-Party Women’s Council (SPWC) members following their ordinary regional conference held last weekend.
The conference also elected a regional coordinator, mobiliser and treasurer for the SPWC in the region.
Ernestine Ndumba had no contest and was endorsed as the council’s new regional coordinator. Ndumba, the former regional treasurer, replaces Annakleta Shikerete who took up a seat in Parliament last year.
Johana Kapango was elected regional mobiliser and Fransiska Likoro treasurer.
Ndumba and Likoro are from the Gciriku tribe and Kapango is Shambyu.
The Gciriku, Shambyu and Mbukushu tribes mostly hail from the Kavango East Region, while many Kwangali and Mbunza are from the Kavango West Region.
Some party insiders feel people from other tribes were deliberately excluded from being voted into the positions and as a result, the Shambyu and Gciriku supporters dominate leadership positions within the SPWC in Kavango East.
The sources told Nampa on Tuesday it is a strategy to deny Mbunza and Kwangali tribes, especially, access to party structures in the region, despite candidates being nominated at branch level in every district.
They stated that the Delimitation Commission, which was tasked with recommending changes to boundaries of regions, creating new regions, or dividing regions, did not do so to instigate tribalism in the regions.
The Fourth Delimitation Commission of Namibia suggested in August 2013 that the Kavango Region be split into two, bringing the number of political regions in the country to 14.
SPWC Secretary Petrina Haingura, who was the keynote speaker at the conference, spoke about the increasing trend of tribalism when she addressed the delegates before the elections.
She advised the delegates to refrain from discrimination along tribal and regional lines, saying the Kavango Region was not divided into two to encourage such behaviour.
The Swapo coordinator in the Kavango East Region, Marceline Kahare did not want to comment on the issue because her office had not yet received a report on the outcome of the conference.
She, however, told this agency on Tuesday that she does not believe tribalism was at play.
“Why is everything always said to be tribalistic when it is not? What is the future of this entire region if this is the song we continuously sing?” she asked.