Former Rally for Democracy and Progress(RDP) president Jeremiah Nambinga says a cabal of power-hungry individuals in the party have prevented him from growing the party, hence his decision to quit the party.
Nambinga, who did not mince his words during an exclusive interview at his private residence this week, said senior party officials who were opposed to his presidency adopted clandestine plans to sabotage all his plans and policies which were meant to “grow the party”.
Three senior officials who spoke to The Patriot said Nambinga was most likely referring to RDP vice president Steve Bezuidenhoudt and party secretary general Mike Kavekotora.
This newspaper understands that Bezuidenhoudt and Nambinga have not spoken since August 2017.
“I was constantly and strategically sabotaged by the colleagues, the same people who were supposed to help me take the party forward. I initially thought the party needed someone who initiated things and had the heart to grow, but almost everything that I initiated was blocked,” said Nambinga who indicated that he was now a “relieved man”.
Nambinga became RDP president in 2015 after the party’s founding president Hidipo Hamutenya returned to Swapo. Five candidates, including Nambinga had contested for the position which became the genesis of turmoil in the party. By then, the party was already on a downward spiral after seeing its representation in the National Assembly declining from five seats to three.
“When I became president, RDP was fractured and I knew we were divided. Then, Hamutenya had left but I was still optimistic that I would be able to work with the colleagues and unite the party to forge ahead,” he narrated.
Nambinga also accused the party’s executive from blocking his route to the National Assembly, saying this was done “despite the fact that the party’s constitution clearly states that the top four would automatically go to parliament,” he lamented.
“The truth of the matter is that some of the colleagues who contested for the presidency together with their campaign managers never accepted me as the president of the party. The lies that have been marshalled about me came from a cabal of self-serving individuals who never accepted that they were defeated democratically and transparently.
The party operates on the basis of a constitution, but, because this cabal was so intoxicated with their own power struggle agenda, they decided to pass an illegal, unconstitutional and unprocedural vote of no confidence against me at a NEC meeting of 12 August 2017. Since then party was totally hijacked because we were literally doing nothing,” he said.
According to Nambinga, the infightings caused the party the electorate with increased complaints then coming in from party members requesting for meetings to question the party leadership. This again, according to Nambinga was a challenge since he and the party Secretary General Mike Kavekotora did not seem to have a cooperative relationship, even when one is accountable to the other.
“I was being accused of organizing clandestine meetings in Katutura to instigate people against the Kavekotora, but there was no evidence to these allegations.
Everything was against me. Even when I consulted the cabal, you could sense that these people caucus to sabotage me. All my ideas were rejected on the basis that they did not want to see anything good being done by me,” Nambinga said.
Asked where the party went wrong, Nambinga highlighted that the thorn in the RDP flesh has been that of individuals fighting for power.
“Some of the colleagues are not taking the party forward.
They are interested in their own businesses. If someone does not want to be led by another person, you cannot change the mentality of that person and that is what the problem is.
“Politics is politics, particularity African politics. I’m not responsible for what is happening now, I was simply a victim. I resigned because I could not take it anymore. I tried my level best but I simply could not,” he concedes.
Bezuidenhoudt said his job as acting president entails preparing the party for its elective congress in December.
“I would like to make it clear again that I will not be standing for any position at the convention. Those who claim I pushed out Nambinga have their own reasons for saying so. I will relinquish my position gracefully at the convention,” he said.
According to Bezuidenhoudt “Nambinga left the party’s finances in a dire state”.
He also indicated that he is perplexed by Nambinga’s resignation while the party’s court case is ongoing.
“He is the one who took the party to court, why does he not wait until the court process has been finalized?” questioned Bezuidenhoudt who also indicated that the party will approach the court to grant an order that compels Nambinga to settle the party’s N$300 000 legal bill incurred during the process.
There are also talks that he plans to take back the two vehicles he donated to the party when he took over the presidency.
“This is a personal issue that involves legal matters,” Nambinga said in brief.
Bezuidenhoudt however stated that “goods donated to the party cannot be taken back and thus remain the property of the party”.
His next move
Nambinga said he will remain an ordinary citizen of the country heading his house, family and his business.
“There is life beyond politics and one does not need to be a politician to survive. However, I am not going back to Swapo. It is only dogs that are either hungry of mistreated by their owners that eat their vomit. Swapo is vomit to me.
“I’m not resentful, but relieved. My only regret is that we formed a party with people whom we did not know too well. I wish them well,” he said.