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Published on October 5th, 2009 | by admin


Ekandjo for President?

The Swapo electoral college is a prelude to the party’s congress in 2012, where the identity of Namibia’s next President could be decided,   writes Tangeni Amupadhi

President Hifikepunye Pohamba may have to brace himself for rebellion during his second term after failing to sway the election of Swapo parliamentary candidates in his favour even when he insisted, against party rules, that regional councillors should not be eligible.
In 2007 after the election of Swapo’s elite power structure, the Politburo, Pohamba is said to have remarked: “I can’t imagine a Political Buro without Helmut.” It was a reference to Helmut Angula who failed to be elected to that body. Now the latest electoral college results have handed Pohamba an even worse deal and he now has to imagine the next Cabinet without Angula.
Angula’s poor showing (at number 70 out of Swapo’s 72 National Assembly candidates) was not only a personal humiliation, but a message to Pohamba that he could attain lame-duck status even before his second term had begun. Angula is arguably the President’s most loyal hand in the current administration. The Minister of Works, Transport is also one of Swapo’s best administrators and versatile at expertly handling different portfolios.
But he has failed to play the party’s political games expertly. “It’s true he is one of our best administrators but he is an arrogant politician,” said one senior Swapo leader who campaigned for Angula’s defeat.

   Angula’s ousting shows Pohamba’s leverage in the party is weak. It is also confirmation that he has failed over the past five years to use his executive powers to steer Swapo and government at key moments. He hasn’t managed to set up a kitchen Cabinet through which he could push through policy changes and counter challenges from within the party. Compared to his predecessor, Sam Nujoma, Pohamba has failed to instil loyalty, admiration or even fear in order to sway decisions in his favour. And Angula’s demise is not the only indication of this. Other Swapo leaders, such as Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah and most of the six people he appointed to the National Assembly in 2005, are already headed for exit from government circles.
Vocal youth leaders in Swapo are publicly suggesting who Pohamba should pick to fill the six non-voting positions in the National Assembly after the elections. Pohamba’s hands were tied ahead of the electoral college as there was strong lobbying about who he should pick among the 10 candidates the Swapo president is allowed to add to the parliamentary list.
Until a few weeks before the electoral college, the rules in existence then clearly outlined that the Swapo president is allowed to choose 10 people “who would go a long way in enabling the President to constitute a Cabinet of his or her choice”. This reasoning has been removed from the new rules used at the last electoral college although it is supposed to be implicit.

It appears Pohamba was given little room to manoeuvre, having shown over the years as Namibia’s President that he could be placed under pressure by his own party. Only in the last days before the electoral college did Pohamba appear to wake from a slumber, but it was too late. His chance came when the Kavango region nominated too many regional councillors for the electoral college in the hope they’d graduate to the National Assembly, Namibia’s premier chamber of parliament. The Politburo was horrified at the large number of councillors from nearly all regions who aspired to change. It decided to keep them in the regions. Swapo’s Secretary General, Pendukeni Iivula-Ithana, told insight the decision to bar them was to avoid by-elections. “We are going into an expensive exercise of presidential and National Assembly elections and for the country to be opened up to by-elections shortly before the next nationwide elections is imprudent,” she said.
But it is believed Pohamba extended the Politburo’s decision to include regional councillors who are also members of the Swapo Central Committee. Party rules say they are automatically eligible to be voted on to the National Assembly list. So, the issue may yet open up a Pandora’s box. “We just did not want to insist on the rules being followed because it would have damaged our campaign,” said a member of the Politburo. Many of those barred are governors and other well-known regional councillors who would have stood a good chance of making it on to the list and effectively clearing out much of Swapo’s old guard.
It is not only Pohamba who affected the electoral college delegates. The Swapo Youth League insisted on sending 10 delegates, swelling their numbers of people voting in their favour to 15, including five of their National Assembly candidates. The youth league is entitled to five delegates only.

Eye on 2012
   With Pohamba heading for lame-duck status, the preparation for the electoral college and the results were a dress-rehearsal for battles to be played out at the Swapo Congress in 2012. The comparison with Nujoma is again unavoidable. Nujoma often used party and state-organs to force his decisions through. His iconic status made his use of power almost beyond challenge. Still, Pohamba may just have defanged himself by his repeated pronouncements that he is a “progressive puppet” of Nujoma and that his administration is a “Swapo Party government”.
Party insiders say Pohamba can forget about playing a major role in who succeeds him as the country’s President or even as Swapo president. At the Swapo Congress in 2012, the party’s highest decision-making body will decide who its next presidential candidate is. The rules state that the head of the party is the automatic candidate. If the person cannot stand, as is Pohamba’s case once he has ruled the country for two terms, the vice-president of the party steps up.
The contest for president and vice-president of Swapo is already underway although congress is in 2012. This is despite assumptions that Hage Geingob, the party’s vice-president, will be Swapo’s choice for the Head of State in the 2014 elections. Swapo’s rules allow for all top four positions to be contested openly at congress by at least three people in each category.
So far, factions have emerged within the socalled Omusati clique. One group is pushing for Geingob, pointing to his administrative skills and his non-Owambo background. Another points to Jerry Ekandjo, the minister of regional and local government. Ekandjo is a perennial darling of party voters and would most likely edge out Geingob in an open contest. He has consistently polled top votes in Swapo structures despite being a loose cannon and not much of a statesman. There is also nothing to write home about his record as a government administrator. Secretary-General Iivula-Ithana is another waiting in the shadows to succeed Pohamba and Utoni Nujoma, son of the first president, is not far in the queue to continue the Nujoma dynasty.
Now in front, Geingob might yet find himself like Moses in the Bible: reaching the mountain top to see the promised land without getting there. That is unless other party heavyweights prevail. 2012 could yet provide a transitional test for Swapo, which has tried since 2004 to plaster cracks and present a united front. Pohamba has spent the past year trying hard to please everyone for the sake of party unity. Having failed to entrench himself, the President may have inadvertently cut off his nose to spite his face. And any further in-fighting could still be blamed on his watch even during the lame-duck period.
Swapo list for the National Assembly Elections 2009

The top three names are automatically added and another 10 president’s choices alternate from number 24.

1. Hage Geingob
2. Pendukeni Iivula-Ithana
3. Nangolo Mbumba
4. Jerry Ekandjo
5. Utoni Nujoma
6. Alpheus !Naruseb
7. Abraham Iyambo
8. Petrina Haingura
9. Richard Nchabi Kamwi
10. Kazenambo Kazenambo
11. Joel Kaapanda
12. Erkki Nghimtina
13. John Mutorwa
14. Nahas Angula
15. Tjekero Tweya
16. Petrus Iilonga
17. Theo-Ben Gurirab
18. Immanuel Ngatjizeko
19. Pohamba Shifeta
20. Elia Kaiyamo
21. Albert Kawana
22. Benhard Esau
23. Doreen Sioka
24. Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila
25. Paulus Kapia
26. General Charles Namoloh
27. Peya Mushelenga
28. Alphaus Muheua
29. Loide Kasingo
30. Monica Nashandi
31. Erastus Uutoni
32. Billy Mwaningange
33. Marco Hausiku
34. Lucia Witbooi
35. Angelika Muharukua
36. Auguste Xoagus
37. Chief Samuel Ankama
38. Uahekua Herunga
39. Rosalia Nghidinwa
40. Willem Isaak
41. Dr Nickey Iyambo
42. Sylvia Makgone
43. David Namwandi
44. Piet van der Walt
45. Lempy Lucas
46. Isak Katali
47. Tommy Nambahu
48. Elifas Dingara
49. Festus Ueitele
50. Juliet Kavetuna
51. Moses Amweelo
52. Evelyne Nawases-Kaeyele
53. Alexia Manambo-Ncube
54. Ben Amathila
55. Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah
56. Lucia Basson
57. Raphael Dinyando
58. Royal JK /Ui /o /oo
59. Teopolina Mushelenga
60. Otto Ipinge
61. Becky Ndjoze-Odjo
62. Sylvia Kandanga-Sheetekela
63. Marlene Mungunda
64. Korbian Amutenya Viscaya
65. Victor Simunja
66. David Namalenga
67. Willem Konjore
68. Sussy Gideon
69. Paul Smith
70. Helmut Angula
71. Ida Hoffman
72. Hansina Christiaan
The Rally for Democracy and Progress, which observers already see as the next official opposition, held its electoral college in the middle of September and chose its 72 National Assembly candidates.

For the full lists of parties candidates for the National Assembly please visit:

1. Hidipo Hamutenya
-  Presidential Candidate
2. Steve Bezuidenhout
3. Jesaya N. Nyamu
4. Agnes Limbo
5. Anton von Wietersheim
6. Kandy Nehova
7. Peter Naholo
8. Heiko Lucks
9. Rudolph Kamburona
10. Lauraine Weyers
11. Michaela Hubschle
12. Nicanor Ndjoze
13. Sam Hamunyela
14. Jeremiah Nambinga 15. Ndapewa Nghipandulwa
16. Mike Kavekotora
17. Joachim J. Nicolaas Kruger
18. Martin Heita
19. Beatrice Sandelowski
20. Hans Haraseb
21. Libolly L. Haufiku
22. Gerson Mutendere 23. Elikan Nghimwene
24. Captain Erasmus Hendjala
25. Kennedy Shekupakela
26. Mirjam Hamutenya
27. Sibuku Malumbano
28. Francis Basson
29. Helena Nengola
30. Sackey Amenya

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