NAMIBIA: Pohamba Calls for Gender Equality

Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Southern Africa
PeaceWomen Consolidated Themes: 
Reconstruction and Peacebuilding

President Hifikepunye Pohamba has called for a fair gender representation on the ruling Swapo Party's nomination lists for the November 2010 Regional Councils and Local Authorities elections.

Addressing members of the male-dominated Swapo Party Central Committee (CC) at the official opening of its two-day annual general meeting at Parliament building on Friday, Pohamba said a just gender representation on the party's lists for the upcoming elections will reflect Swapo's commitment to gender equality and the empowerment of Namibian women.

Pohamba, who is also the president of Swapo, called on members of the ruling party to approach the November elections as a united force to capture all seats in the country's 107 constituencies in the 13 political regions.

"We must approach this important matter as members of one family with only one goal in mind, namely, to win the elections and to serve our nation to the best of our abilities," he said.

The Swapo Party has already commenced with its primaries to elect candidates for the upcoming elections.

Pohamba urged aspiring candidates who fail to secure nomination on the final candidate lists to continue to strengthen the culture of democracy in the ruling party and the country in general, as their participation in the process will demonstrate political maturity and cement democracy in society.

The president said the struggle for economic independence and empowerment, especially for the previously disadvantaged communities, should be the collective focus of all citizens after the attainment of political freedom.

In this regard, development initiatives must be taken to every region, every constituency, every district and every local authority in Namibia, he said.

"This is the only way in which we can honour the memories of the martyrs of the Namibian revolution who sacrificed their lives for independence that we enjoy today," said Pohamba.

He urged Swapo Party members to redouble their efforts and vigorously campaign for the November elections, to win the hearts of the voters.

"A landslide victory for the party will mean the Government will implement pragmatic policies to address the challenges facing the nation," the Head of State said.

He called on councilors elected during the upcoming elections to listen to the concerns of the electorate and channel their problems to appropriate and relevant authorities within Government.

"They (elected councilors) are also expected to provide feedback to their constituencies when there are challenges and problems regarding the implementation of policies or disruptions in the delivery of public services," Pohamba said.

He urged the electorate to vote in great numbers for Swapo, as the ruling party is the only one with a proven track record in the country, and has managed to maintain peace and stability since Independence, while development was brought to most parts of the country.