August 30, 2002

Swapo Congress 'hazy' on fourth term issue

A resolution taken by Swapo on the „fourth term issue“ is ambiguous on whether President Sam Nujoma will run again for the top office or not. The text of the resolution is careful not to endorse the President's stated intention to stand down in March 2005 and adds that the succession issue will be discussed at Congress in 2004. The resolution says that Congress noted an earlier announcement that Nujoma will step down at the end of his current term in March 2005. The Congress decided "to confirm the decision of the Central Committee to hold an extraordinary Congress in 2004 with a view to addressing the question of succession". The wording of the resolution means that it is possible that the extraordinary Congress could call on Nujoma to serve a fourth term.

In other resolutions, the Congress "directed" the Government to:

  • increase funds for the purchase of resettlement farms from N$20 million to N$100 million.
  • expropriate 192 farms owned by non-Namibians
  • undertake a study "to determine the implication of separating "the Executive from the Legislative" arms of the State.
  • broaden the composition of the Judicial Services Commission "to reflect the interest of the people".
  • continue with infrastructure construction such as the new port at Cape Frio.
  • extend the Trans-Caprivi Highway from Rundu through Nkurenkuru, Okongo, Eenhana, Onhuno, Outapi, Tsandi until the Atlantic Ocean..
  • go ahead with the building of the hydro-electricity scheme at Epupa in order to "accelerate the development of Kunene Region and southern Angola".
  • ensure tourist resorts are built in communal areas
  • set water prices
  • pick Grade Seven students who would be trained as scientists, monitored through their progress and be made to work for Government for at least 10 years.
  • take over the erection and maintenance of Swapo's tombstone project through which grave markers for fallen Swapo guerrillas will be put up throughout the country.

Other resolutions dealing specifically with Swapo internal affairs are that:

  • the Secretary General and Deputy Secretary General should be full-time officials of the party. Justice Minister Ngarikutuke Tjiriange is the present Secretary General and Khomas Regional Governor John Pandeni his deputy.
  • the Central Committee "evolve a mechanism" to ensure that at least 30 per cent of the women are elected to the Central Committee.
  • Swapo should establish an Institute for Political Studies (IPS) to train party members, mobilisers and other functionaries.
  • Swapo will set up a Sam Nujoma Foundation, as a not-for-profit organisation that will give bursaries to Namibians who will study "science and technical subjects (The Namibian)

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