CoD Talks End in Walkout

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By Kuvee Kangueehi

Windhoek

A scheduled meeting between the two warring factions of the Congress of Democrats (CoD) ended prematurely after the faction associated with Nora Schimming-Chase walked out.

Schimming-Chase and Moses Katjiuongua left the meeting, which took place at the office of party president Ben Ulenga, after they failed to agree on a number of crucial issues.

The meeting was the first between the two warring factions in months and was called by Ulenga to put into effect the High Court judgment that ordered that the CoD hold a congress in five months.

Katjiuongua said they walked out because the points on the meeting’s agenda were irrelevant to the court order, which was handed down last week.

“Ulenga was behaving as if there was no court order and invited people that were even not supposed to attend the meeting.”

CoD parliamentarian Kaveri Kavari and CoD youth leader Kalimbo Ipumbu, were requested to leave the meeting after Schimming-Chase and Katjiuongua objected to their attendance.

Katjiuongua said Kavari had resigned from the party two years ago and could not understand what she was doing at the meeting, while Ipumbu has been suspended.

The two factions could also not agree on who should be responsible for organising the congress. Katjiuongua said he believes that a chairperson approved by both factions and members appointed by both sides should organise the congress.

He noted that the party is too divided to hold a free and fair congress and thus a neutral person should be appointed.

However, the Ulenga group said that the court order instructed CoD to hold the congress and appoint a chairperson to oversee the elections at the congress.

Another matter that the two factions could not agree on was the issue of the chief whip. The Schimming-Chase group believes that the court order has re-instated her as chief whip, while the other faction believes that the court did not make a ruling on the issue.

Katjiuongua said Rosa Namises, who was elected secretary general at the Keetmanshoop congress, which has now been nullified, should not have appointed Tsudao Gurirab as chief whip. Since the congress was nullified, her decision is also null and void.

The Ulenga group, however, feels that the CoD leadership that was elected at Keetmanshoop was legitimate until the court order was handed down on July 17 and thus all their decisions were legitimate.

Katjiuongua further argued that only the party’s parliamentary caucus has the mandate to appoint a chief whip and not the secretary general of the party.

It is now not clear whether the national executive committee meeting, which was planned for August 2, will take place following the walkout.

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