THE district conference of the ruling party held at Omuthiya in the Oshikoto Region on Saturday has blocked an attempt by supporters of Dr. Panduleni Itula to take over Swapo’s district leadership.
Two conference delegates, Armas Amukoto and his elder brother Moses, were disqualified at the last minute after it was discovered that they supported Independent Candidate Panduleni Itula campaign during last year’s presidential elections.
The conference was held to elect new district leadership after the conference held in August last year was declared null and void.
Armas Amukoto, who is a former Omuthiya constituency councillor, wanted to contest the position of the district coordinator.
Delegates were still registering at the entrance of the conference hall when the two brothers were discreetly summoned to a nearby office where they were informed by regional coordinator Armas Amukwiyu that their delegate status was revoked.
The duo readily admitted that they were indeed Itula supporters, but considered Amukwiyu’s oral revocation of their status as invalid. They also complained about the presence of six police officers in the office.
“Since police officers were not part of any party structures, their massive presence in that office was meant to intimidate us and that is totally unacceptable,” said Moses Amukoto, who was an Omuthiya local authority councillor for the opposition RDP before he rejoined Swapo years ago.
He argued that their last minute disqualification was a tactic meant to block Armas Amukoto who was vying for the position of district coordinator.
The conference, was scheduled to start at 10:00, but only got out of the blocks about four hours later. Chaos erupted immediately when those disqualified from the election refused to leave the hall and exchanged furious words with Amukwiyu and the former defence minister Penda Ndakolo who is now Oshikoto governor.
Moses Amukoto accused Amukwiyu of also being an Itula supporter.
“You confirmed it to me personally at my shop before buying a bottle of wine for me,” said Moses Amukoto in front of other delegates.
The two brothers eventually left the venue and the conference continued as planned.