By Frederick Philander WINDHOEK The Congress of Democrats on Thursday evening officially and festively inaugurated its new headquarters in the capital, also celebrating the party’s 7th anniversary. The keynote speaker at the occasion was the CoD’s national chairman, Tsudao Gur-irab, who addressed a number of party stalwarts and loyalists. “One of the reasons why we have moved from the previous abode near the Polytechnic of Namibia is the fact that our ‘slumlord’ threw us out and secondly, we believe that as Windhoek expands that our new address is quite central and can conveniently be accessed by all,” Gurirab told those present. He told party members that to carry out political work demands great challenges under the circumstances in which the ruling party makes extensive use of government transport, fuel and contracts to fill up their coffers. “As you know, Swapo retains a full-time ‘minister without portfolio’, operating from government offices to run the party’s administration. Actually this particular minister should be called ‘minister of Swapo affairs’. A party like ours, which does not have the luxury of state resources, will primarily rely on contributions from members and supporters – in addition to the state subvention to parties in parliament,” the national chairman charged. Gurirab also called on the rank and file of his party to regularly contribute towards the party’s coffers so that the executive committee can continue with its work in the political field. “As you know ours is not an ethnic party with support within one part of the country. Ours is a party that reaches out across the entire country, but we will remain in the forefront of the battle for deepening freedom for all Namibians and be indefatigable champions of prosperity for Namibians,” he said. In the CoD’s view Nami-bian politics is becoming ethnic politics, even within the ruling party. “Increasingly privileges are only given according to whom you know in the ruling party or the government. Increasingly national days, which must be used to speak to the patriotism of all Nami-bians, are reduced to days of party political division and sloganeering. Hence the fact that the CoD calls for ‘A new Beginning’,” he said. According to Gurirab, this new beginning should allow everyone to qualify for legitimate government service irrespective of party affiliation and or ethnicity. “Our challenge as task is to make our country a better place for all by recommitting ourselves and availing our intellectual input to go out there and build the necessary structures to politically operate in within communities. The last seven years had been lean ones of hard work that laid the foundations for a great party of the future. I believe the next seven years will be seven bountiful years in which we will reap the fruits of our labor, democratically taking over the government,” Guri-rab concluded.
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