Okahandja Swapo DEC ready to face consequences

17 Feb 2019 16:00pm
OKAHANDJA, 17 FEB (NAMPA) – The Swapo Party Okahandja District Executive Committee (DEC) says its support of Johannes Hindjou’s election as town mayor is not a sign of disrespect towards the party’s secretary general.
Hindjou was elected as the town's mayor on Friday, defying Swapo Secretary General Sofia Shaningwa's order that Sophia Upithe be elected for the position .
In an interview with Nampa Friday, Swapo’s district coordinator for Okahandja, Martha Mwandingi-Simeon downplayed insinuations that Hindjou’s installment as mayor was a sign of disrespect.
Asked why the DEC defied the secretary general, she replied: “We are not following an individual, but the party structures. It’s not that we are undermining our leaders. No, not at all. We respect them fully.”
Mwandingi-Simeon said they are prepared – as the DEC – to face any consequences for their decision to support Hindjou for the contested position.
DEC member, Bethuel Tjaveondja, said they know the candidates’ strengths and weaknesses.
“We believe that since we are from here, we know them better than anybody else.”
Tjaveondja went on to say the DEC has attempted – but failed – on three occasions to engage Shaningwa on the matter.
He claimed that the secretary general was not interested in any form of dialogue with the DEC but wanted her directive to be respected and implemented as is.
“We should use the constitution 24 hours, not only when it suits and then bypass it when it doesn’t,” Tjaveondja stated.
Should the councillors be recalled for disobeying the order, as is the case in Rundu, the DEC is prepared to challenge such a move in an independent tribunal.
“In Swapo, we don’t support taking our party to court but mind you, everybody has their democratic right and there are laws governing this country. So, if that’s the road to take, we are still going to engage our councillors,” he noted.
Shaningwa, in two separate communiqués addressed to coordinators of Otjozondjupa (Susan Hikopua) and Kavango East (Ottilie Shinduvi) on Friday invited local authority councillors of Rundu and Okahandja on the Swapo ticket; district coordinators; as well as regional governors to an urgent meeting.
The meeting is slated for Monday at the party headquarters in Windhoek.