Youth blast their seniorsBy: SELMA SHIPANGA
THE fifth Swapo Party Youth League (SPYL) congress that ended in Windhoek yesterday ,saw Elijah Ngurare, once again, reclaiming the top post as the youth wing’s secretary after an unopposed election on Saturday.
With a total of 242 votes, Veikko Nekundi clenched the position of deputy secretary against Heather Sibungo, who only managed 159 votes.
Ngurare’s unopposed claim to victory came after those who were opposing him failed to get a replacement contender for Julius Namoloh decided not to challenge him, with possible talk of finding a way to nominate their candidate from the floor.
Earlier, the SPYL Central Committee decided that no nominations would be made from the floor. However after a heated debate at the congress the Kunene Region nominated Natangwe Ithete of the Oshana Region to stand against Ngurare.
The nomination was seconded by one of the delegates from the Oshikoto Region, but immediately thereafter other delegates from the latter region told the congress that they had never decided on a nomination.
Ngurare and Nekundi will serve in these positions for the next five years.
The congress also elected 30 members to the SPYL Central Committee, 15 of whom will represent the youth wing at the Swapo Party congress which is scheduled towards the end of the year when the big fight will be for the position of vice president of the party, who will automatically become the party’s presidential candidate for the 2014 elections.
The Oshana Region walked away with five members in the SPYL CC, making it the region with the most representation in the CC. In addition to the 30 elected CC members, regional secretaries from all 13 regions also form part of the CC.
Oshana’s Job Amupanda got the most votes at 244, followed by Karas’s Bernadus Swartbooi with 191 votes and Khomas’s Mandela Kapere with 173 votes. Other delegates who scored many votes include Paulus Mbangu, Felix Haingura, Immanuel Nashinge and Soini Ikela.
The positions of treasurer and information and mobilisation officer will be decided upon by the newly elected SPYL Central Committee.
In his acceptance speech, Ngurare warned the delegates not to be used “and chewed like bubblegum”.
He also requested Swapo secretary general Iivula-Ithana to inform the party’s Politburo that the youth were not interested in infighting of Swapo leaders and did not want to be used.
“We do not want to be used. Put it on the agenda of the Politburo that we do not want to be used. If there are quarrels within the mother party, keep it there. All we want from you as our elders is guidance,” he said.
He further asked Iivula-Ithana to add to the Politburo agenda that leaders, especially those appointed by President Hifikepunye Pohamba, must not intimidate the youth in the different regions.
Ngurare also used the occasion to take a swipe at the media, describing them as “factories of lies and propaganda”. He singled out the Namibian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC), the Villager and Windhoek Observer newspapers whom he said have been “campaigning against us”.
“Many newspapers have young reporters and young editors who do not seem to apply common sense. Some have been having campaigns against us like they exist because of us. Please leave us out of your agenda. If you want to cover us, then report about the issues we are fighting for, which are youth empowerment, rural development and genuine economic empowerment,” he said.
Ngurare reiterated the “unity” that exists within the youth wing, saying that attempts to cause division would not succeed “because we are truly solid”. Ngurare publicly rubbished rumours that some of the regions, namely Otjozondjupa and Ohangwena, were excluded from the congress.
“Anybody who is fantasising or politically ‘hallucinating’ needs to be hypnotised with the truth. Remain assured that ours is a truly solid rock. The next five years will be guided only by the constitution of the SPYL and that of the Swapo Party,” he said.
According to him, they will wait for the Politburo to make the announcement on the presidential candidates and then decide who will get the youth’s support.