SWAPO expels Dr. Itula for running the race for President
Windhoek, March 20 – Just two days before the country’s independence celebrations chickens have come to roost Dr. Itula for running the race for President in the 27 November 2019 elections. At a meeting held on the 19th March 2020, the ruling SWAPO party’s Politburo resolved to expel Dr. Itula in terms of Article 13(8) of that party’s constitution citing at least six grounds of misconduct.
Dr. Itula made history and became the first person in Namibia to run as an Independent Candidate in the race for President. He garnered 29.4% of the votes and lost to a soon to be sworn President elect Dr. Hage G. Geingob who garnered 56.3% of the votes.
Dr. Itula faced the wrath of the ruling party for allegedly being disruptive and for running against the ruling party elect Dr. Hage G. Geingob in the 27 November 2019 Presidential elections as an Independent Candidate. On these and other grounds the SWAPO party Politburo deemed that its relationship with Dr Itula “had irretrievably broken down”, the letter served on Dr. Itula on 20 March 2020 stated. As a SWAPO member Dr. Itula was obliged support the party elected candidate as per Article 10 of the SWAPO party constitution. The SWAPO party accused Itula of having behaved in a way that compromised unity in the Party as well as using the party to promote his own personal interests in a manner that disadvantaged the Presidential candidate and costed the party votes.
The letter also stipulates that when Dr. Itula embarked on a political campaign, he at times shared platforms with other opposition parties, organizations and individuals disobeying the SWAPO party’s code of conduct. It further stipulates that Dr. Itula refused to accept communication from the party aimed at giving him a fair hearing, which imminently led to his expulsion from party as the Party alleged to have been left with “no option” to prevent harm to the SWAPO party’s interests.
Dr. Itula has been granted 14 days to appeal his expulsion to the SWAPO Central Committee. It remains to be seen with the mushrooming of independent candidates what action will SWAPO take against its members who ran for local authorities’ elections under the style and banner as “independent candidates”.
Compile by Julia Nekwaya