Angry CoD Faction Gives Ulenga an Ultimatum


By Kuvee Kangueehi Windhoek A faction of the Congress of Democrats (CoD) that staged a walkout at the recently concluded Extraordinary Congress has given the party president Ben Ulenga an ultimatum of 14 days to meet their demands. Addressing a press conference at parliament Buildings yesterday, the group spokesperson Ignatius Shixwameni said they do not recognize the leaders that were elected at the congress after the walkout, and are demanding that the election results be nullified. The group also demands that a proper audit of the delegates’ list, together with the list for voting, be done. The third demand is that the head office of the CoD be run by those who worked there prior to the botched congress, until the problems are resolved. The group further claims that the people who walked out of the congress were in the majority, hence the congress had no quorum to continue. However, this is contrary to the views of election observer Yul Andrews, who told New Era that the congress had a quorum, or at least more than 50 percent of the delegates, even after the walkout. He said the process was not only free and fair, but also very transparent. Andrews, who was appointed by the CoD to oversee the elections, noted that he did not see any irregularity in the entire voting process. However, the concerned group remains adamant that those who walked out were in the majority. They claim that they had 164 delegates out of 308 who signed on after leaving congress. This is despite the fact that the CoD constitution is mute on the issue of a quorum and does not stipulate whether it should be 33 percent or 50 percent of total delegates. Shixwameni said his group was also deeply disturbed by name-calling by those supporting Ulenga. “The Kavango delegation were told that if they as Kavangos, with the support of Kwangaras, Coloureds and Basters, thought they would ever lead the CoD or Namibia, they were proven wrong.” Shixwameni said the main reason for their walking out was because of manipulation and the smuggling in of some of the congress delegates. He noted that people that came to the congress as observers were suddenly registered as voters and given accreditation, which contributed to the controversy about the election results. He alleged that they had information that the wife of Ulenga, Nambata, and Rosa Namises brought delegates from the Khomas Region whom they wanted to register. These people were supposed to be observers. He charged that in another incident, members of Ulenga’s group wanted to cheat by registering people from Khomas as delegates from Oranjemund, whereas the Oranjemund delegation had not made it to the congress. He added that in another incident, a member of the Oshana Regional Executive brought a group of young people from Oshikoto North Region and wanted to register them despite the fact that there was another list of delegates from that region. He added that manipulation and bribery were rife at the congress. They learned that some delegates were given pocket money to come to the congress, while others were offered parliamentary and leadership positions if they voted for a particular candidate. Shixwameni further alleged that some delegates from the northern regions were carrying guns. “We knew that they wanted to create chaos at the congress and we did not want to confront them.” Without elaborating, Shixwameni accused delegates from the northern regions of holding the former CoD secretary general Kalla Gertze hostage and said the latter was rescued by security people. Shixwameni revealed that some of the delegates that left congress were very angry and wanted to attack Ulenga physically and he (Shixwameni) had to stop them. Contacted for comment yesterday afternoon, Ulenga said he had not yet officially received the demands and thus could not comment on them. He noted that he had learned about them but nothing was formalised. Shixwameni refused to preempt what they would do if their demands were not met, but warned against a permanent split.