DTA Stuck with Kaura

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By Kuvee Kangueehi

Windhoek

It appears a central committee meeting or congress of the DTA of Namibia to elect a new leadership is unlikely to be held despite the fact that the term of office of the current leadership lapsed at the end of March.

DTA held its last central committee meeting in 2005 and was expected to hold its next elective meeting during the months of April or May 2008. But so far, no date has been set for such a meeting.

Meanwhile, DTA President Katuutire Kaura claims that the central committee meeting is not a priority.

Speaking to New Era yesterday, a clearly irritated Kaura said the holding of the central committee meeting is a non-issue to him as the party is confronted with more serious problems such as the Zimbabwe elections, unrecognised chiefs and the fact that the Swapo Party is campaigning full time.

He said nobody should force him to hold the central committee meeting, as such calls only sow seeds of division within the party.

Since Kaura was re-elected as the party president in 2005 in a closely contested election against McHenry Venaani, the party allegedly has not held a single central committee meeting or an executive meeting despite the fact that the party constitution requires that the executive meets six times a year and the central committee at least once a year.

Discontent seems to be mounting within the party. At a meeting held last week in the capital, some party members especially from Kaoko in the Kunene region wanted to know why prominent party members such as Venaani are being marginalised, They also wanted to know why Rudolf Kamburona has quit the party.

At this meeting, a committee was set up to find out from Kamburona why he quit the party that he has served for such a long time.

A source within the party said Kaura is uncomfortable with the idea of holding a central committee meeting, claiming that the holding of the elective meeting would create division within the party.

The source said Kaura is trying to buy time by delaying the holding of the central committee meeting and will later claim that it is too late to hold an election because of the national elections that will take place next year.

Kaura took over the leadership of the DTA in 1998 after Mishake Muyongo was ousted from the party over his support for secession of the Caprivi region.

Since then, Kaura’s leadership has been dogged by problems, including the departure of two key DTA affiliates, Nudo and the Republican Party.

Since winning 21 seats during the 1989 elections, the DTA support base has gradually shrunk. Currently, the party has only four seats in the National Assembly.

Lately, the party appears to be split between two factions, one led by Kaura and another by Venaani.

Despite Venaani’s withdrawal from the party presidency contest at the next central committee meeting, the rift within the party is deepening with Venaani gaining support from the Otjiherero-speaking followers – Kaura’s former support base.

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