OTTO Ipinge, the Governor of the Otjozondjupa Region along with three regional councillors and two local authority councillors have been suspended with immediate effect in what is widely termed as a strengthening of discipline within the ruling Swapo Party.
The Otjozondjupa Region has been beleaguered by infighting for the past ten years.
In an official statement released earlier on Wednesday by the Otjozondjupa Regional Coordinator of the Swapo Party under a heading: ‘Suspension of Comrades causing division and disunity in the Region’ the six councillors were informed of their suspension.
The specific part of the statement reads as follows:
On the 2nd July 2017 after Regional Conference of the Party in the Region, the newly elected Regional Coordinator- Comrade Susan Hikopua called for the unity amongst all leaders in the Region. In particular, she called on those who did not make it to leadership positions through a transparent democratic process to support and embrace the new emerging leaders of the Party in the Region. Equally, she implored the newly elected leadership to embrace those who did not emerge victorious in their quest to be elected as leaders of the Party in the Region.
However, and despite the aforesaid unequivocal clarion call of the Regional Coordinator of the Swapo Party, a group led by Comrade Otto Ipinge, has made in their daily occupation to malign and to try to emasculate the legitimately elected leadership of the Swapo Party in the Region. This group has engaged inter alia in the following activities:
- Orchestrated demonstrations against the legitimately elected leadership in the Region with the ultimate aim to remove them from office;
- Interfered in the Swapo Party structures in Otjiwarongo, in particular in Ombili and DRC suburbs;
- Made unauthorized and damaging statements which are harmful to the Swapo Party;
- Spread a litany of unsubstantiated lies against the legitimately elected leadership of the Swapo Party in the Otjozondjupa Region;
- Conducted illegal and unauthorized renewal of mandates in the Districts of Grootfontein and Otjiwarongo;
- Taken the Swapo Party to court, a case which they lost on urgency and which they subsequently abandoned;
It is an indubitable and irrefutable fact that the aforesaid acts are egregious and constitute a serious breach of the ideals and aspirations of the Swapo Party as enshrined in the Constitution of the Swapo Party.
The Regional Executive Committee has on numerous occasions condemned these unsavory actions. In particular, the leadership sought the intervention of the office of the Secretary General in order to restore normalcy. However, the Otto Ipinge led group has rebuffed these bona fide attempts and vowed to take all necessary actions to remove the current leadership from their positions.
As responsible leaders, the Regional Executive Committee on 29thApril 2019, wrote and dispatched letters to the Comrades in question and implored them to desist and refrain from engaging in the various nefarious activities that had the potential to bring the name of the Swapo Party in disrepute. However, and to our utter dismay and consternation, the Otto Ipinge led Group openly pronounced that the current leaders of the SWAPO Party in the Region have no power to take any action against them or to call them to order, and they vowed that they will continue to make the Otjozondjupa Region ungovernable.
In view of the aforesaid actions of the Otto Ipinge led group, the Regional Executive Committee has as a last resort decided at its meetings held on 8th May 2019 and 12th June 2019 to proceed in terms of Chapter 5, Article XII B (7)1 of the Swapo Party Constitution, and suspend from all activities of the SWAPO Party in the Otjozondjupa Region, the following Comrades with immediate effect:
- Comrade Otto Ipinge: Regional Governor of Otjozondjupa Region;
- Comrade Steve Boois: Regional Councillor- Okahandja Constituency;
- Comrade Julius Neumbo: Regional Councillor- Otjiwarongo;
- Comrade Jack Tsanigab: Local Authority Councilor- Grootfontein (Management Chaiperson);
- Comrade Absai Haimene: Local Authority Councilor- Grootfontein (Mayor); and
- Comrade Nelao Amagulu: Regional Councilor –Grootfontein
Further, and in compliance with regulations 17 of the Swapo Party Code of Conduct and Grievance Procedures the REC invited the affected Comrades to a meeting this morning at 11:00 in order for the REC to convey the decision to suspend them, but acting within their rights the affected Comrades did not show up.
Take note that the suspension of these Comrades is with immediate effect, pending pronouncement by the Political Bureau of the Swapo Party.
A necessary corollary or consequence of the suspension is that the suspended Comrades must forthwith cease to engage themselves in any SWAPO Party activities pending pronouncement by the Political Bureau of the SWAPO Party.
The Regional Executive Committee will never tolerate two centers of power in Otjozondjupa Region. There is only one legitimately elected SWAPO Party leadership in Otjozondjupa under the command of the Regional Coordinator- Comrade Susan Hikopua.
All SWAPO PARTY members are guided by the Constitution, the Rules and Procedures and the SWAPO PARTY Code of Conduct. No one and we say no one in Swapo is bigger than the Party. It should be noted that the current Otjozondjupa Swapo Party Leadership shall not condone any misbehavior, tribalism, nor shall we tolerate regionalism and nepotism within our rank and file.
Now, we call upon all peace loving cadres and Namibians to unite in our pursuit of peace and stability in our region and mobilize the citizenry for the upcoming National and Presidential Elections.