SPWC congress outcome criticised

11 Dec 2016 19:00pm
KEETMANSHOOP, 11 DEC (NAMPA) – Education Minister Katrina Hanse-Himarwa, Hardap Governor Esme Isaack and Deputy Minister of International Relations Maureen Hinda on Sunday slammed the outcome of the seventh Swapo Party Women Council (SPWC) congress.
The political representatives, all hailing from the south of Namibia, suggested on social media that the just-ended congress disadvantaged candidates of tribal minority groups.
Messages circulated on social media showed Hanse-Himarwa saying the votes for the Central Committee were clearly rigged in light of the long wait between voting and the release of results, while Isaack submitted that the election committee were busy “cooking” the results.
Hinda, who failed to make it onto the CC in her first attempt this year, told Nampa on Sunday the results spoke for itself.
“I projected that this election would be the end of inclusivity. I said that 80 per cent of the 37 positions would be occupied by people with last names of one tribal group and unfortunately, I was proved right.”
She attributed the outcome to ballot mistakes and poor consultation on the electoral process between the election committee, headed by Attorney General Sacky Shanghala, and delegates.
Shanghala on Saturday night admitted to some ballot mistakes, but dismissed allegations of rigging, saying he had no intent or interest to do so.
“The congress was not perfectly organised and there were mistakes, but we tried our best to rectify what we could to ensure a credible election.”
//Kharas Governor Lucia Basson, who failed to get a seat on the CC, on Sunday declared the entire congress a failure.
“It was a mess. The whole event was poorly organised and I blame the national committee for this. They excluded key regional people who could have assisted in hosting a successful congress, but they were selfish,” Basson told Nampa.
She however had no reason to challenge her failure to make it onto the CC, Basson added.
“I have served on the SPWC CC for 28 years and I am fine with leaving since I did not campaign this time around.”
She did feel though that the available time for candidates to campaign was limited.
“It is a known fact in Namibia that minority candidates are voted into power by majority groups. It is a matter of numbers and that is democracy.”
Basson said in future, minority groups should organise themselves better and be given ample time to make themselves known to other voters.
Isaack declined to comment further on the matter when contacted by his news agency on Sunday, while Hanse-Himarwa could not be reached on her cellphone.