Swapo wants to dance with Henny again

Hennie Seibeb

Swapo deputy secretary general Uahekua Herunga has extended an invite to former Landless People’s Movement (LPM) deputy leader Henny Seibeb to return to the ruling party.

Seibeb and his former boss, Bernadus Swartbooi, left the ruling party to register the LPM as a political party in 2019 to advocate for land distribution.

The two (Seibeb and Swartbooi) have been a thorn in the flesh for Swapo in parliament for the better part of the current parliamentary term, presenting robust debate against Swapo policies.

However, the two fell out a few weeks ago, hyping speculation of Seibeb’s wish to return to Swapo.

On Friday, Seibeb posted his old Swapo membership cards on social media, in a manner reminiscent of his days in the party.

Uahekua Herunga

He told The Namibian yesterday that he will not talk about posts on social media.

“Why are you calling me about old cards I put on my status? Are you spying on me or what? You even want to know about things on my WhatsApp status?

“I’m not a national leader. I’m not in any leadership position whatsoever. I’m an ordinary citizen. I’m a pensioner,” he said.

Seibeb yesterday refused to comment on the matter.

“Why are you calling me about old cards I put on my status? Are you spying on me, or what? You even want to know about things on my WhatsApp status?

“It is dangerous to talk about things that are not yet concluded.

At this moment, I can not say whether there are talks or not,” Herunga says.

Seibeb and Edson Isaaks resigned from LPM and as members of parliament earlier this month, after Seibeb was stripped of his chief whip position for Utaara Mootu. A prominent source within the LPM earlier this month told The Namibian that Seibeb has not been to the party offices since January. Weeks ago, Swapo secretary general Sophia Shaningwa told The Namibian the party would appreciate Seibeb’s return.

“He just realised it’s time for him to go back home and contribute meaningfully to real maters concerning our people and our country’s development. He is a Swapo child,” she said.

Meanwhile, Swapo spokesperson Hilma Nicanor says Seibeb can apply voluntarily anytime and rejoin the party. “He has been a member of the party until 2017, and went wherever he went.

He is welcome, should he feel he needs to come back. One might just realise they’ve erred by quitting the party,” she says.

Nicanor has asserted that whoever agrees with the objectives of the party can join anytime.

“One can not say there is a link, but the party is open. The party constitution does not, however, allow dual membership, but as you can see, he just quit the other party now,” she says. Seibeb was unavailable to comment as his phone went unanswered.

Swapo Kunene regional coordinator Julius Kaujova says he can not confirm or deny if Seibeb has applied to rejoin Swapo.

Kae Matundu-Tjiparuro

“There are always processes that have to be completed, comrade Seibeb has been in the Khomas region, he has the right to apply through that region,” he says.

Meanwhile, political observer Kae Matundu-Tjiparuro says it is Seibeb’s choice whether he wishes to continue to be the ideological light and compass that he has been or become another political dinosaur. “I found him one of the few ideologically inclined people in Namibia, whose contributions even in parliament have not been from an ideological no-man’s land but have been ideologically based,” he says.

Matundu-Tjiparuro says the question is whether Seibeb ideological convictions will find resonance and meaning, as well as actualisation with Swapo.

He says Seibeb’s next move should be guided by an ideological contemplation rather than political opportunism.

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