News and Information
Nujoma destroying Swapo, says a fired-up Nyamu
|December 14, 2005
* CHRISTOF MALETSKY
A DEFIANT former Trade Minister Jesaya Nyamu yesterday said a dark cloud is hanging over the future of Swapo Party under the "totalitarian" rule of Sam Nujoma, who has caused division among the members and destroyed collective leadership.
Addressing the media for the first time since his expulsion from the party last week, Nyamu said he would not appeal against the decision, since the 'mother of cliques' operating within the party, and led by Nujoma, would never afford him the chance to do so.
Sitting under the lapa at his house in Windhoek, Nyamu said party president Nujoma led a group of strategically placed people from the Omusati Region with the aim of destroying anyone who questions his leadership - especially the Kwanyamas.
Though a Ndonga himself, Nyamu said he has always been a target because of his outspokenness - something the "dictatorship" of Nujoma hated.
'THIS IS TRASH' Nyamu said he had written to the Swapo Party Secretary General to set the record straight on his expulsion.
He claimed that by trying him in his absence Nujoma had conducted an "ambush".
"The prosecutor is the judge at the same time.
No voting took place," Nyamu claimed of the proceedings that led to his "ex-communication" from the party.
Nujoma announced that the politburo decided to expel Nyamu for alleged attempts to create a split in the party.
"Through his incitement of division, violence and factionalism within the Swapo party, the political bureau resolved that Mr Jesaya Nyamu is not worth Swapo party membership.
Therefore, he has been excommunicated from the Swapo party and will no longer carry out any activity in the name of the Swapo party or speak and address Swapo party members," Nujoma charged in a statement.
In the letter to Nyamu, Swapo Deputy Secretary General John Pandeni confirmed the 'excommunication' and told him not to address Swapo members or carry out party activities.
"I am excommunicated? It reminds me of the Pope when he excommunicated Martin Luther.
It didn't stop reformation," Nyamu said.
"This is trash," Nyamu said.
He then stood up and started burning the letter signed by Pandeni.
"My recruit (Pandeni) has the audacity to write to me a very nasty letter.
It raises serious questions about Swapo's future," he said.
'RELIGIOUS CULT' Nyamu said his "body and soul" remained Swapo and that the Omusati faction - "who behave like a religious cult by expressing exactly same views on every issue" - was destroying the party in the name of ideals of unity and the principles of Swapo's constitution.
"They are not a lot of people.
They are few but very dedicated.
They are like greyhounds.
When they smell blood, they attack.
For them numbers don't count.
They occupy important positions in the party," Nyamu said.
A member of the party for over 40 years, Nyamu said Nujoma told them at one Cabinet session that they must "leave my party" if they refused to carry out his orders.
"Under the atmosphere of the dictatorship, procedures and the party constitution do not count.
Before Independence, we could debate things in Swapo.
The rules of the game changed with Independence," Nyamu claimed.
He charged that Nujoma has, in fact, become an imperialist through his business dealings, although he kept on calling others agents of imperialists.
"It will come out one day," he said, adding that he will make his next move known in time.
For now, he would like to keep the Omusati faction in the party guessing and working overtime.
PRIVATE PAPERS Nyamu was expelled after notes, expressing thoughts about the possibility of forming another political party, were found in his office last year.
The notes, written on four small pieces of paper, lay out two options, apparently for supporters of former Foreign Affairs Minister Hidipo Hamutenya, who was dismissed by Nujoma in the heat of the presidential race.
On one paper, Nyamu wrote: "For those still in Government, stay the course till March 21.
Effect: endure humiliation; discourage loyalists; allow elections to go ahead as if nothing has taken place; Namibian image less damaged; consolidation of Nujoma's group."
Option two, he said, was to "quit Government one by one and make strong statements to the press."
Nyamu said the thoughts were provoked by the suppression of divergent views at the Swapo extraordinary congress and the humiliation of seniors through a fabricated list produced by Nujoma at the electoral college that elected Members of Parliament.
"It is natural to react when one feels offended.
It is a natural response.
Those who accuse me for my notes should take count of the background against which they were made," he said.
CIVIL WAR THREAT Nyamu claimed that Swapo members who advanced a different candidate other than President Hifikepunye Pohamba at the congress were given all sorts of labels and threatened with the prospect of instant civil war if their candidate did not win the election.
"Worse yet, the national security forces were brought in.
Casspirs were deployed.
Only a fool would have taken what went on at the congress lightly.
I could not sit by idly and see my party tearing itself apart," he charged.
He claimed that supporters of Hamutenya were intimidated at the congress and remained in hotel rooms whenever they were out of the hall.
The former Trade Minister said he wanted to help his party by denouncing those who perpetrated undemocratic practices and became the first victim of a witch-hunt.
"I left the congress with a sense of bitterness as I felt treated like an outright enemy of the party and I have no doubt that many others felt as I did.
To this day, nobody has the courage to tell us what necessitated the deployment of forces," he said.
He said any illusion that there was unity in Swapo was finally killed at the electoral college when the entire top layer of senior cadres were relegated to the bottom of the 72-member party list.
"No plausible democratic electoral process could provide such results," he said.
INFAMOUS LIST "At the electoral college Nujoma produced a list of people and labelled them "imperialist agents" without any proof of that.
Where did he get it? Did he pick it up in the street? Innocent people who had not even seen the list were called imperialist agents.
A lot of national resources were deployed.
It was a huge project.
Somebody worked day and night," Nyamu said.
The elections at the electoral college saw party seniors such as Nickey Iyambo, Phillemon Malima, Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, Jeremiah Nambinga, Hidipo Hamutenya, Helmut Angula, Mose Tjitendero, Hadino Hishongwa and Nyamu failing to make the top 50 of the party list.
Nyamu said the notes were stolen from his office after he "kept them tight" in a drawer.
"The next thing I knew was that somebody told me that Kapia had my notes.
Whether he was directly involved to break in, I doubt," he said.
However, he said administrative officers at the Ministry of Trade had three copies of his office keys and there was no explanation about who got in.
"If Government is spying [on] itself, it is an ominous sign of a breakdown.
These are not welcome signs," he said.
He said the notes were circulated at a politburo meeting by Lands Minister Jerry Ekandjo.
It did not stop there.
'POISON-PEN LETTERS' When an Otjozondjupa regional election of Swapo took place where none of those linked to the Omusati faction were elected, Ekandjo and Justice Minister Pendukeni Ithana allegedly blamed him in a politburo meeting.
"They said Nyamu's notes are at work," he claimed.
Nyamu said e-mails from poison-pen writer 'Ananias Nghifitikeko' had support from Nujoma and the Omusati group in Swapo, as they were used as an "ideological mouthpiece".
"It was hogwash to denounce them," he responded when reminded that Swapo had denounced the writers.
Nyamu said he wrote back to Swapo to set the record straight and it was up to them to consider his points.
"As long as Sam Nujoma is the President of Swapo, there is no chance of a reversal of the decision.
I have known him for more than 40 years," he said.
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