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      Mbumba, Kapofi play safe on presidential ambitions

      by Eliaser Ndeyanale

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      VICE president Nangolo Mbumba is keeping his cards close to his chest about his presidential ambitions once president Hage Geingob's current term lapses.

      In the same vein minister of defence and veterans affairs Frans Kapofi, who is touted as another potential Geingob successor in Swapo echelons of power, says he would cross the bridge when he gets there.
      Swapo is heading towards its elective congress later this year where the party will select its top-four positions and central committee members.
      Mbumba was this week not keen to comment.
      “I don't know what makes you think I am your buddy. Do you understand me? Good day,” he said.
      Mbumba served as Swapo deputy secretary general from 2007 to 2012, and party secretary general from 2012 to 2017.
      On Saturday, Mbumba held a meeting with his Angolan counterpart, Bonito Diogo, at Ongwediva.
      He failed to attend a Swapo rally addressed by party vice president Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah.
      'INDIVIDUAL AMBITION NO FACTOR
      “I have for many years served my party in different capacities, none of which came about as a result of my personal desires. Individual ambition has not been a factor when the party deployed or assigned its cadres to whatever task,” Kapofi said this week.
      He said he could not attend the weekend's rally because he was with an international guest.
      Other officials who attended his meeting, such as minister of urban and rural development Erastus Uutoni and Ohangwena governor Walde Ndevashiya, however, attended the rally.
      Minister of environment, forestry and tourism Pohamba Shifeta, minister of information and communication technology Peya Mushelenga, and five regional governors also attended Mbumba's event but failed to make it to the Swapo rally.
      So far, only the party's current vice president, Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, declared her interest to contest for the Swapo vice president position at the upcoming Swapo elective congress slated for the end of this year.
      However, Kapofi, minister of mines and energy Tom Alweendo, and prime minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila are speculated to be among those vying to take over from Geingob when his last term comes to an end in March 2024.
      Kapofi could yesterday neither confirm nor deny that he is willing to challenge for the Swapo vice president position. Asked whether he would accept nomination if the party removes the constitutional provision stipulating candidates for top positions should have “consistently and persistently” served as a member of the ruling party's central committee for 10 years, Kapofi said: “Let us cross that bridge when we get there.”
      Alweendo could not be reached for comment yesterday, while Shifeta said he could not talk as he was in parliament.
      Last month The Namibian reported that Nandi-Ndaitwah and Kuugongelwa-Amadhila successfully blocked proposals to amend the above-mentioned Swapo constitution provision.
      This provision prevents Kapofi and Alweendo from contesting as they have not served in the party's central committee for 10 years.


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