WINDHOEK, 04 NOV – Swapo president, Hage Geingob has urged his party cadres to bury the hatchet and move on from divisive events of its 2017 elective congress, while also asking those in Parliament to respect the Prime Minister, Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila.
Geingob made these remarks during the opening of the Swapo Party central committee (CC) meeting on Friday in the capital.
He expressed discontent over an array of issues denting the organisation’s unity, chief of which is disrespect meted towards the premier.
“I am told (and) I watch disrespect shown to her by members of Swapo. Members of Swapo, what is happening? The debates in Parliament, I don’t know,” he said.
Geingob acknowledged that Swapo Members of Parliament are expected to be independent and speak their minds.
“But you are on a Swapo Party ticket, not on your own name. It’s a party list system. All of us who are in Parliament are on a Swapo ticket,” he said.
“Please, what I am seeing there (disrespect against one another) in Parliament…and I realise that even in Cabinet, ministers don’t have what was called Cabinet handbook,” he continued.
In this case, he was referring to Health and Social Services Minister, Bernard Haufiku, whom he vowed to deal with.
“They must be inducted. They don’t even know. Look at what they are talking around. I was shocked to hear (what the) minister of health (said)…we will deal with it at a different level,” Geingob promised.
Haufiku, in an interview with the Namibian Sun this week accused Geingob of interfering in the affairs of his ministry.
Geingob’s remarks come just a few days after Poverty Eradication Minister, Zephania Kameeta wanted Public Enterprises Deputy Minister, Veikko Nekundi reprimanded for apparently criticising the government’s operations.
Geingob took time to discuss Swapo’s unity, which remains haunted by events from the lead-up to and after last year’s elective congress.
His chief concern is that some Swapo members no longer lead by the credos of unity and collective responsibility, both within the party and “worryingly outside the party”.
“That competition is over. Let us all hold hands in order to take our movement forward and focus on a crucial and urgent agenda of service delivery and socio-economic development.”
Geingob advised those who are unhappy with last year’s congress’ outcome to approach the courts.
“Inner-party elections were concluded successfully and you have to accept the outcomes or go to the courts,” Geingob said.
The CC meeting comes before Swapo’s extraordinary congress, where the party will take crucial decisions about its operational architecture, including amendments to their constitution.
Geingob did not announce a date for the anticipated extraordinary congress.