Monday 12 April 2021
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‘Gender equality cannot supersede quality’


….as Venaani explains why Kaura is yet to be honoured

DTA of Namibia will not allow the calls for gender equality in the party’ top structures to overshadow its push for quality leaders in the party, party president McHenry Venaani said. Currently, the party’s top four po- sitions are occupied by males, namely McHenry Venaani(President), Ka- zeongere Tjeundo(deputy president), Manuel Ngaringombe(secretary general) and Linus Tobias(deputy secretary general). “I am a proponent of gender equal- ity, but this must come with quality. You can see the ruling party has degraded when it comes to debates in the National Assembly because of gender equality,” Venaani said this week at a briefing to reveal the out- come of the party’s elective meeting held last weekend. Venaani reiterated that there is drive to push women up the ladder in the party ranks, but it must be accompanied by quality. “That is why I motivated for [Elma] Dienda, I am not a promoter of gen- der without quality,” he said. According to Venaani: “I believe in gender emancipation, our women representation in parliament is over 45 percent. I can vow that I will do everything in my powers to bring women to the top leadership posi- tions in the party, I am not saying women are not capable but we cannot compromise on quality.”

DTA-Kaura relationship

Asked about his promise that he made in 2013 when he assumed pow- er that the party will accord his pre- decessor an honorary status, Venaani said: “Looking at honorary systems, they are subject to good behavior.” “I asked central committee to do honor him but an honorary status is subject to good behavior, if you do things that are not in the interest of the party you cannot be honored. We did not confer it onto him because there is a lack of rapport between him and party,” he said. The DTA executive committee in 2014 terminated Kaura’s mem- bership and recalled him from the National Assembly after finding him guilty on charges of insubordination, incitement, factionalism, promoting divisiveness and bringing the party into disrepute. Surprisingly, after a few days the party rescinded the decision.

The rift between Kaura and the party’s president, McHenry Venaani, emerged in 2013 after Venaani de- feated Kaura at the party congress to take over the party presidency. The falling-out worsened when the party leadership accused Kaura of not reporting on how the party was doing in the National Assembly and that he disrespected the party leadership. “Those who gets such honors must enjoy certain behavior in the party, there is reluctance from the side of the central committee to honor him right now. As for myself, I am guided by the collective. I believe he can still get it but behavior is key.” Venaani further said the party’s decision not to honor Kaura does not stem from the fact that Kaura accepted a job in the Swapo-led Gov- ernment as the special advisor to the Governor of Kunene Region. “I was the first to congratulate him when he was appointed, we talk to each other when we meet at events, but the situation has not normailised but we wish to normalize it,” he said.

New secretary general

Meanwhile, Immanuel Ngarin- gombe was elected as the party’s new is the new secretary-general last week. He was the party’s councillor on the Walvis Bay Town Council. Ngaringombe served on a party ticket as a local authority councilor in Walvis Bay He will be deputised by Linus Tobi- as, who was the DTA’s councillor on the Oshakati Town Council and re- gional coordinator in Oshana Region. The two secretaries will both be based in Oshakati after the party’s leadership resolved to move the party’s headquarters into the Swapo stronghold. The CC further decided to rename the position of secretary for finance to treasurer-general. Former SG Vincent Kanyetu was suspended and subsequently expelled from the party along with the DTA’s regional coordinator for Kavango West Boniface Kashera and regional coordinator for Kavango East, Rein- hilde Kudumo for their involvement in the unsanctioned sale of the party’s regional office in Rundu without the consent of the DTA leadership.

Venaani added that the DTA has been consolidated into one unit re- flective of a modern Namibia and is now better-placed to respond to the challenges and needs of the Namibian public after members of that party unanimously adopted a new consti- tution at its CC meeting. Since its establishment in 1977, the DTA of Namibia has been constituted as an ethnic-based alliance of parties and members could have dual mem- bership through direct membership of the DTA and affiliated parties. “Gone are the days where people’s needs and interests, political or oth- erwise can be divided along tribal or ethnic lines. The politics of today is a politics of ideas and policies; ideas and policies that must appeal to every Namibian, irrespective of tribe or ethnicity. Our constitutional config- uration must reflect the face of this new Namibia,” he stressed.

The DTA leader noted that in consolidating democracy within the party and ensuring that members directly elect their leaders; the power to elect the president, vice-president, chairperson, SG, deputy SG and trea- surer-general has been removed from the CC. Those positions will now be elected directly by congress. Their next national congress is in 2018. He added that the party has further moved away from a 180-member CC to a “leaner more efficient” CC of only 69 members, in addition to those members who shall serve on the CC by virtue of their positions. Forty members were also directly elected to serve on the CC. The Chief Council of DTA has been changed to the Elders’ Council and the party also created a term limit for party president of 15 years, retrospective of a 2013 CC decision. Venaani has already served two years. He is the seventh president of the DTA of Namibia.- additional reporting by Nampa

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