ELECTING two women as topmost leaders of the Swapo Party Youth League (SPYL) in the Oshikoto Region has led to the nullification of the conference that elected them.
An order came from Windhoek demanding that the conference be redone to correct the mistakes on or before this Saturday.
The SPYL held its elective regional conference on 23 July where a new regional leadership was elected and ten SPYL congress delegates were selected.
But SPYL secretary Ephraim Nekongo nullified the outcome due to alleged irregularities.
He penned a letter to Julius Gaeseb, the chairperson of national leaders assigned to the region, declaring last month’s conference partly null and void and ordering that a fresh conference be convened.
He said that irregularities were detected in the election of SPYL leaders and the selection of delegates to the congress that is scheduled to take place at Oshakati from 17 to 21 August.
According to Nekongo, the SPYL Oshikoto conference failed to abide by the gender balance policy of the party.
After a female regional mobilizer (Paulina Simon) was elected by acclamation, only a male candidate was supposed to stand for the position of regional secretary, but that was not the case. The conference allowed a female (Saara David) and a male (Jekonia Iifo) to vie for that position.
David won the contest with 46 votes, against Iifo’s 26.
The two topmost SPYL positions in the region are now occupied by women.
Nekongo also pointed out that the conference’s selection of delegates to the SPYL congress lacked gender balance. Seven men and only three women were chosen contrary to the 50/50 policy of the party.
He mandated that the conference be reconvened to rectify those mistakes.
But at least two SPYL sources, who spoke to Informanté on condition of anonymity, expressed doubt about the possibility of convening a fresh conference on or before Saturday.
They also alleged that there is “something more” behind Nekongo’s decision.
A source said: “Nekongo has a preferred candidate for the regional secretary position, but that candidate lost in a fair and open contest. Nullifying the conference is simply Nekondo’s shortcut to impose his candidate.”
The source added that the regional leadership already had a clear idea of how to rectify the gender imbalance that was created by the recent conference: “we planned to convene an extra-ordinary conference after this month’s SPYL congress.”