A GROUP at Swapo’s political conference said the party should amend its constitution to include more potential candidates who want to succeed President Hage Geingob.
The recommendation was made by participants in a group to discuss youth empowerment.
The policy conference — attended by 600 participants from across the country — aimed
to lay the foundations before the next congress which would decide on Geingob’s successor.
Conference participants were divided into groups to discuss policy issues.
The youth empowerment group included, among others, former Cabinet Minister Helmut Angula and Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila – who had in the past blocked attempts to remove the so-called Helmut Amendments.
In 2018, Swapo amended its constitution, adding a series of new rules for aspiring candidates planning to run for the top four positions such as vice president and general secretary. This includes being “constantly and constantly” a member of the central committee for more than 10 years.
Angula told The Namibian yesterday that the conference did not discuss the amendments.
So far, Swapo vice-president Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah and Kuugongelwa-Amadhila are seen as favorites to succeed Geingob. Kuugongelwa-Amadhila planned to announce her candidacy via an NBC interview.
Geingob did not comment on the succession issue during his public address at the weekend policy conference, but did comment broadly on the state of the party and its “critics”.
“For those who are waiting for Swapo to fail, for all the detractors who remain obsessed with the internal affairs of Swapo, all I can tell you is that this is going to be a long and torturous wait for you,” he said. he declared.
Fishrot’s tainted ruling party has lost key ground in national elections over the years, particularly in the 2019 and 2020 presidential and local elections. In 2019, Geingob’s votes as the party’s presidential candidate were reduced from 87% to 56.25%.
The following year, Swapo failed to retain control of over 30 towns and village councils across the country, including economic centers such as Windhoek, Oranjemund, Lüderitz, Swakopmund and Walvis Bay. This was a reduction in votes from 80% to 65.45%.
The party held a policy conference over the weekend to discuss policy issues such as economic empowerment, natural resources and housing.
The president admitted that the party faces challenges in running the government.
“We will be the first to admit that the task of governing Namibia has not been easy, but contrary to what any detractor might want to portray, in our 32-year journey Swapo has achieved significant success.”
Geingob insisted the party was heading in the right direction.
“We are not going anywhere except to continue to govern our country, Namibia,” Geingob said,
He added that Namibia’s current and pre-independence status are miles apart.
“Someone said the apartheid regime builds houses. I can not forget it. What houses? remarked Geingob.
“Some said colonialism was better. Then go back to colonialism,” he said.
The president said the war in Ukraine is a reminder to invest in local food security.
“As I speak today, there is conflict in Ukraine affecting the global supply of food and services.
“That means we have to become self-sufficient. Necessity is the mother of invention. These are, among others, some of the questions we should think about when we exchange ideas. »
He added, “Why do we have to starve when we have this big land?” He asked.
In his closing remarks on Saturday, Geingob said the policy conference allowed the party to discuss how to improve the monitoring and evaluation of the party manifesto.
According to him, the policy conference also discussed poverty eradication such as empowerment and value addition in sectors such as fishing, mining, petroleum and green hydrogen project.
Agriculture for national food security and job creation were also key takeaways, Geingob said.
He also said the conference allowed the party to examine the models needed to address the housing crisis, especially informal settlements.