Pro-Nujoma businesspeople cry foul

27 Sep 2013 05:30
ONGWEDIVA, 27 SEP (NAMPA) - Some prominent Swapo-Party politicians in the Oshana Region are allegedly opposing a demonstration which some Swapo-affiliated businesspeople are planning to stage against the Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP).
Businessman Sigo Amunyela, who is also a Swapo supporter and one of the organisers of the demonstration, made this allegation in an interview with Nampa on Wednesday.
Some business personalities who are members and supporters of Swapo, are planning to demonstrate against the RDP, particularly that party’s secretary-general Jesaya Nyamu, who reportedly criticised the renaming of streets of many towns in Namibia after founding president Sam Nujoma.
Nyamu is also said to have opposed the erection of several Nujoma statues in the country, saying this amounts to excessive praising of the retired Namibian president.
A group of businesspeople under the leadership of Amunyela and another prominent businessman, Veicko Haimbodi, has described Nyamu’s sentiments as disrespectful towards Nujoma, whom many Namibians honour and respect as an icon of Namibia’s liberation struggle and father of the Namibian nation.
The demonstration was meant to publicly condemn Nyamu’s views, and the group also plans to hand over a petition to Nyamu, asking him to withdraw his criticism of such statues and street names.
The planned demonstration has thus far failed to materialise. It was postponed for the fifth time on Tuesday until further notice.
Amunyela indicated that his group is determined to protest against Nyamu.
“However, we are disappointed to learn that some of our comrades, some of them in charge of the administration of the party in the region, are sabotaging our planned demonstration and keep on suggesting postponements,” he said.
Amunyela declined to name the Swapo-Party politicians who are allegedly sabotaging their idea, but was quick to say his group knows very well who they are.
“They are referring to us as egotistic and people with confused minds, but we are also questioning their loyalty to the Swapo Party and comrade Nujoma,” he said.
Without mentioning any names, he also expressed concern that senior leaders of the Swapo Party in the Oshana Region, who were supposed to distinguish between the party and the Namibia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NCCI), are mixing 'pure' Swapo-related issues with the NCCI.
“We are talking of Swapo-Party businesspeople here, not the NCCI which is an organisation for all businesspeople, irrespective of their political affiliation,” Amunyela bemoaned.
It is also alleged that senior Swapo-Party leaders prefer that Tomas Iindji, instead of Amunyela, read the group’s petition which the businesspeople are planning to hand in at the office of Oshana Governor Clemens Kashuupulwa during their demonstration.
Iindji, who is the chairperson of the executive committee of the Northern Branch of the NCCI, shot down speculations that senior leaders of the Swapo Party in Oshana Region want him to replace Amunyela as leader of the would-be protesting businesspeople.
Iindji told Nampa on Thursday that he was not yet approached by anyone to inform him about his taking over from Amunyela.
Approached for comment on Thursday, coordinator of the Swapo Party in the Oshana Region, Erastus Kapolo accused the so-called Swapo businesspeople of not following procedure.
“This office was not consulted and party procedures were also not adhered to until the last meeting this week when we agreed for the issue to be thoroughly discussed on Friday (tomorrow) before such a demonstration could be allowed to go ahead,” Kapolo stated.
He also accused the Swapo businesspeople of ignoring the regional office by discussing their planned demonstration with the party’s top four leaders first.
“I don’t want confusion; procedures are there to be followed. Some of them (demonstration organisers) are not part of our structure for that matter,” Kapolo explained, adding that there is also a disagreement among members of the group of businesspeople.
The commander of the police in the region was also not informed about the demonstration, according to Kapolo.
The day of the demonstration remains undecided.