Namibia: We Won’t Bankroll Swapo Campaigns – Naloba

BUSINESS PEOPLE who have united under the newly established Namibia Local Business Association (Naloba) will not bankroll campaigns for Swapo candidates contesting for the party’s top positions.

The association says it does not have preferred candidates for the vice president, secretary general and deputy secretary general positions.

Naloba was established in January by business personalities with close links to Swapo.

The association appointed Swapo supporters, businessmen Erastus Shapumba and Peter Amadhila, as its president and vice president, respectively.

Other Swapo supporters, such as businessmen David ‘Kambwa’ Sheehama, Ondangwa mayor Paavo Amwele, and Tomas Iithete are members of Naloba’s executive.

Naloba spokesperson Marius Nangolo says there is no relationship between the organisation and Swapo, and that the association will not fund the campaigns of prospective Swapo leaders.

“Naloba and its members have the pure responsibility to address business needs and interests. Political events are taken care of by politicians,” he says.

Nangolo says business people who want to fund campaigns or have preferred candidates would do it in their personal capacity.

Amadhila earlier this year said Naloba will not fund Swapo campaigns.

“Naloba and its members have the solid mandate to address business needs and interests. Political events are left for politicians,” he said at the time.

Swapo leaders are currently mum on preferred candidates.

They have said declaring their favourite candidates would divide the party. The party will hold its elective congress towards the end of November.

The congress will elect the party’s vice president, who will automatically be the party’s presidential candidate in 2024’s national elections.

The congress will also elect the party’s secretary general, deputy secretary general, and members of the party’s central committee to serve in the committee from December 2022 until 2027.

Swapo veteran Erkki Nghimtina has said: “My vote is my secret. I can’t tell you who my preferred candidates are. I don’t want to divide Swapo.”

Former defence minister Charles Namoloh and Ben Amathila have also refused to say who their preferred candidates are.

Meanwhile, Oshana coordinator Werner Iita yesterday would not lift the lid on who his region would back for the vice president, secretary general and deputy secretary general positions either.

Swapo leader Nahas Angula has said he does not have a preferred candidate yet, because those who have been voted for to contest have not pronounced themselves yet.

“I don’t look at the faces, I support ideas . . . how they are going to address the socio-economic challenges the country is faced with. I don’t look at gender or race. It will be premature for me to say who I support,” he has said.

Former Swapo Party Women’s Council secretary Eunice Iipinge has not revealed her preferred candidate either.

In 2012, Swapo Party Women’s Council threw its weight behind Pendukeni Iivula-Ithana, but she was defeated by male candidate Hage Geingob.

Media reports at the time suggested that Ipinge that year issued a press statement calling on the women’s league to support female candidates.

Iita last week said the region’s preferred candidate is “an internal matter”, while Omusati regional coordinator Sacky Kayone said his region had not yet decided who to support.

He added that the region would decide after the party officially launched candidates’ campaigns today.

Last month, the Omusati regional conference elected businessman Tobias ‘Tona’ Amadhila as regional treasurer.

Amadhila is prime minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila’s husband.

This has raised speculation that Omusati would support Kuugongelwa-Amadhila for the vice president position.

Kuugongelwa-Amadhila, minister of environment, forestry and tourism Pohamba Shifeta, and Swapo vice president Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah will contest for the Swapo vice president position at the party’s congress in November.

Incumbent Sophia Shaningwa and Oshikoto regional coordinator Armas Amukwiyu will contest for the secretary general position, while former deputy environment minister Uahekua Herunga will compete for the deputy secretary general position against Lucia Witbooi, Evelyn Nawases-Taeyele, and Kavango West regional coordinator Hamutenya David.


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