THE Democratic Turnhalle Alliance or DTA of Namibia as it is now called is unable to hold an elective meeting or congress as prescribed by the party’s constitution. The reason for this anomaly is as laughable as it is absurd.
The mandate of the current DTA leadership to preside over the affairs of the party has lapsed. The DTA should have held a congress in April or May as per its constitution.
That has not happened and members of the party are in the dark about why a congress is not being held. Only the party president seems to know why a congress may not be held at this stage to elect a new leadership, among other party matters.
That is not all. This party that purports to be a government-in-waiting has not held executive committee meetings as per its own internal rules and party constitution and ordinary party members are grumbling.
The constitution of the party requires that the executive committee meets six times a year and that the central committee meets at least once a year. Sources in the DTA say no such meetings have taken place.
DTA leader, Katuutire Kaura, claims the congress is not a priority. Apparently, Kaura and the DTA have other priorities. These are Zimbabwe, unrecognised chiefs and Swapo’s full time political campaigns across the country.
Kaura told this newspaper yesterday that nobody should force him to hold a party congress, as calls for such a meeting would only sow seeds of division in the DTA.
For God’s sake, how can Zimbabwe be a priority issue for the DTA more than the implementation of its own constitution? The DTA has to learn to drink from the same cup that it wants others to drink from. What is good for the goose is good for the gander.
Zimbabwe is battling to finish off its elections in terms of that country’s constitution. The DTA would better concern itself with holding an elective meeting as required by its own constitution. It cannot call on Zimbabweans to hold free and fair elections while refusing to do the same.
That does not make sense. Whatever the position of the DTA is on Zimbabwe, it has no role to play in Zimbabwe except to dish out unsolicited views. The DTA does not have the capacity or clout to influence the situation in Zimbabwe.
It can only express an opinion on Zimbabwe but even then, its opinion is almost irrelevant save for being one of the smallest parties in the Namibian parliament. Therefore, for Kaura to talk as if the DTA should preoccupy itself with Zimbabwe instead of holding a party congress is to be economical with the truth. Whatever the DTA chooses to do on Zimbabwe has no effect at all on the situation in that country.
Similarly, how do issues such as unrecognised chiefs and Swapo’s full time campaigns prevent the DTA from holding a congress? The opposite would actually be true.
If the DTA and its leader want to address these issues effectively, they have to seek a new mandate from the party. The party membership has to be allowed to express itself on these issues and give some direction about what needs to be done.
Refusal to hold a party congress is not confined to the DTA alone. Other opposition parties have not held party congresses while shouting at the top of their voices about democracy and good governance. Parties such as Nudo, the RDP, UDF and others are yet to subject themselves to an internal democratic test.
It is unfortunate that those who are supposed to safeguard our democracy sometimes make themselves guilty of undermining it. Kaura and the DTA appear to be doing just that.
By brushing aside calls for a congress, Kaura appears to want to cling on to power at all cost. And to suggest that people should not call for a congress because doing so would be equal to sowing seeds of division is a scapegoat and smacks of dictatorial behaviour.
Politics is about service to one’s country and people as well as their organisations. It is not a job career. Those who venture into politics should understand that they serve at the pleasure of the people and that when their time is up, they have to go.