RDP Saga on the Boil

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By Kuvee Kangueehi

Gobabis

More people are claiming to have been registered by the new party, Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP), without their consent.

At a Swapo Party press conference in Gobabis yesterday, three more people said that they were deceived, while an additional eight from various constituencies in the Omaheke Region also distanced themselves from the newly registered party.

Claudia Mbahepa, Lucia Mbuende and Erens Ruhumba were all registered by Usher Tjozongoro in Gobabis.

The trio from Gobabis said Tjozongoro made them believe that the registration was for the Ovambanderu Community members to prove or justify to the court that Chief Munjuku Nguvauva has enough followers to lodge an appeal in the matter between the Ovambanderu Traditional Authority and the Concerned Group.

The revelation comes two days after another resident from Omaheke, Simon Vemuesa Katjake, told New Era that he was put on the RDP list without his knowledge.

The Omaheke Regional Coordinator for the Swapo Party, Festus Ueitele, said after extensive consultation and investigation, his office discovered that recruitment and registration of some of the hundred residents of Omaheke was done falsely.

He said they have learnt that some people were registered under the pretext of becoming beneficiaries in development projects, employment opportunities and other income-generating activities.

Ueitele added that he was informed that others were registered on grounds of proving the potential Ovambanderu voters have on Swapo Party to the ruling party and its leadership.

This assertion was confirmed by the Deputy Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources, Kilus Nguvauva, who told New Era that on September 11, he was approached by Ovambanderu youth who had a list of names on a piece of paper under the letterhead of the Ovambanderu Traditional Authority.

Nguvauva said another traditional leader from Aminuis also called in connection with the list, circulated in all the Omaheke constituencies to register people.

Nguvauva said he was informed by the youths that they were instructed by former Swapo Party Regional Coordinator in Omaheke Region, Kauku Hengari, to register people.

The Deputy Minister said he only got to know the full story that the registration was for a new party on September 14 at an Agricultural Show at Otjombinde.

Nguvauva claimed that he immediately called Hengari and warned him not to use the letterhead of the Ovambanderu Traditional Authority to register people for a party, without informing the Swapo Party leadership at the regional or national level about the new party.

The Deputy Minister said he was kept in the dark deliberately because people knew he would never support the issue of a new party.

“They knew that I am a strong Swapo Party member and will not leave the party.”

Nguvauva added that even during the Swapo Party public rally, which was held at Otjombinde, he tried to discourage those who were registering people and warned traditional leaders about the registration.

Nguvauva dismissed allegations that he plans to join the RDP after completing his term as regional councillor for the Steinhausen Constituency.

Party members in the region claim that Nguvauva will serve the remaining two years and then stand as regional council candidate for the RDP in Epukiro.

Ueitele, at the press conference, called on all Swapo Party members to stand firm and remain vigilant and focused, and not be confused by “reactionaries and imperialists”.

He said the Swapo Party would not accept dual membership and party members who intend to move to RDP should surrender their membership cards.

“Swapo Party will never be a dumping ground of leaders who are failing in their duties, who are poaching for power and want to satisfy their personal needs through confusing Namibians at all levels.”

Ueitele called on the Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) to verify the RDP list properly, as many aspects of the registration process appear to be false.

He noted that some people’s identification numbers consist of 12 digits, others 10 or nine, when they should consist of 11 digits.

He said a close look at the ID numbers of some people on the list reveals that they are over a hundred years old and unable to participate in active politics.

He added that out of the over 100 people from Omaheke Region registered, only nine are Swapo Party members according to their records.

At the press conference yesterday, over 20 people from Leonardville joined the Swapo Party as new members.

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