Wrangling among party members over the preferred candidate to lead the party has worsened, the party’s youth league this week accusing Utjiua Muinjangue of placing her interests before that of the party.
Acting secretary general of the Namibia National Unity Democratic Organization (NUDO) youth league Veparura Kandirikirira has condemned NUDO presidential hopeful for allegedly putting her own interests ahead of the party’s.
Kandirikirira aired his dismay over comments made by Muinjangue in a separate interview with The Patriot.
During the said interview, Muinjangue warned her NUDO comrades that if she is not voted as the party’s next president when NUDO holds its elective congress next year, the party’s seats in Parliament “may reduce to one or even zero’’.
Her remarks triggered a stormy backlash from the youth league, which has since indicated that with or without Muinjangue, NUDO will grow its membership base.
“NUDO Youth League is very disappointed to hear such statement from a person[Miunjangue] who wants to lead this party.
As young leaders we believe, in the collective or team work which means Comrade Muinjangue must work very hard to ensure that NUDO increase its votes with or without her as a party President.
NUDO is not owned by any individual member to threaten members with such a statement,” Kandirikirira said in the heavily worded statement.
He added: “We should built one NUDO. Our aim is NUDO to govern this country, the most important issue must be NUDO but not the person who is leading the party. NUDO youth league would like to request all the interested candidates who want to contest in any position to act more mature and act like real politicians. They must not make immature statements which might count against them as there is still much time for the Congress to take place next year, We need each other after the Congress in order to grow our party therefore no one should consider him or herself as Alpha and Omega in this Party.”
The battle lines in the NUDO presidential race have been drawn – Muinjangue will square it off against Okakarara Constituency councillor Vetaruhe Kandorozu.
The elective congress is slated for February 2018.
According to sources familiar with the NUDO, there are currently two factions in the run-up to the 2018 congress.
One faction has Muinjangue as its presidential candidate, Aminius Constituency councillor Peter Kazongominja as her vice president and NUDO’s City of Windhoek councillor Joseph Kauandenge for the position of secretary general (SG).
Whereas on the other camp, Kandorozu is the presidential candidate while current party secretary SG, Meundju Jahanika will have to battle it with Kauandenge if he is to retain the position.
The Kandorozu camp is yet to identify a candidate for position of vice president.
According to those in the know, Kauandenge intends to use his role as secretary general as a decoy to avail him the ample time platform to transform the party as he will be in charge of the party’s day-to-day operations.
Sources say Kauandenge’s strategy is to put NUDO in a better place over next five years in terms of its structures and support base.
If Kauandenge has it his way, the NUDO crowd favourite will then run for party presidency at the 2023 elective congress, something he has been yearning for over the years.
Speaking at a NUDO youth league indaba over the weekend, Kandirikirira called on the party’s youth to stand together and guard against party factionalism in the run-up to congress.
He said the youth league has not lost its direction and will only declare its official position regarding which candidates it will back in the upcoming congress after the official declaration of the commencement of the campaign by its president, Asser Mbai.
Additionally, Kandirikirira called on NUDO’s youth to get involved in day-to-day politics as they are the “leaders of today”.
“There are those who believe that the youth are the leaders of tomorrow. But I, on the other hand believe that we are the leaders of today and not tomorrow. And this believe is strengthened by the reality that when our forefathers and mothers took leadership positions, they were of our age or younger,” he charged.
Kandirikirira emphasized that: “In 2020, we will come up with a strong policy from the youth league to the mother-body which will automatically influence youth to be nominated in local authority and regional and even to the National Assembly list.
Therefore we must pull up our socks and work very hard as I do not want to come up with policies while I do not have capable and committed youth.”
More so, the overly ambitious Kandirikirira went on to say NUDO has two options come the 2019 Presidential and National Assembly elections, which are: either NUDO takes over as the ruling party from the Swapo party or as the official opposition party, a position presently occupied by the DTA.