Swapo secretary general Sophia Shaningwa has urged party members to respect the divergent views of members.
Shaningwa made these remarks at the launch of the Swapo Party Women’s Council (SPWC) amended constitution at Omuthiya in the Oshikoto region yesterday.
“We must be able to respect divergent views of comrades and find common ground in the interests of party unity and growth, within the ambit of our constitutions and policy documents which have been developed over the years,” Shaningwa said.
She added that the world is continuously changing, as well as the political dynamics within the political landscape.
“We must, therefore, continue to review our constitutions and policy documents to enable them to speak to the current political environment and contemporary challenges,” she said.
According to Shaningwa, the Swapo constitution is a living document which is worth cherishing.
Shaningwa said the seventh ordinary congress of Swapo, which took place in November last year in Windhoek, has adopted the amendment of the constitution of the SPWC and its subsequent alignment to that of the party.
She said article 49 (1) of the Swapo constitution provides for the establishment of the Swapo Women’s Council.
“This is clear testimony that Swapo remains committed to the cause for women’s emancipation,” Shaningwa said.
Shaningwa said the party has adopted 50/50 gender representation in all structures as enshrined in the party constitution and policy documents.
“This gives men and women an equal opportunity to serve in the ranks and structures of the Swapo party,” Shaningwa said.
According to Shaningwa, article 49 (3) of the Swapo constitution provides for the SPWC to adopt its own constitution governing its activities and administration.
“Provided that such a constitution or amendment shall require the approval of the congress of the Swapo party before becoming operative,” she said.
She said the success of the party is judged not only through the performance and personality of individual members, but also as a collective.
“Our strength, therefore, lies in our ability to embrace everybody. Everyone has a role to play and positively contribute to the work of Swapo,” Shaningwa said.
The voluntary basis of membership of Swapo implies not only rights, but acceptance of obligations to Swapo, its constitution and policies and programmes, she said.
Shaningwa said the Swapo constitution defines the character and nature of the organisation and clearly defines the roles of each wing.
“Amendments are made to streamline the structures of an organisation and to make them fit the process of governance,” Shaningwa said.