Arnold Tjihuiko, a former parliamentarian for the National Unity Democratic Organisation of Namibia (Nudo), resigned last week from the party he joined 12 years ago citing internal corruption and maladministration as reasons for his bold decision.
“Nudo lost its vision and the principles it stood for when it left the DTA. Under the current leadership the party is being run like a cash loan or cuca shop,” Tjihuiko said in a hand-written document, to which New Era is privy.
“I therefore find it difficult to be associated with the current Nudo party, because I believe that if one is associated with thieves and criminally-minded people, you will also become one,” he said.”
According to the document, Tjihuiko tendered his resignation last week Monday.
He accused the party’s top five of being the main perpetrators of maladministration and corruption with impunity in the organisation. Tjihuiko yesterday confirmed that he resigned from the minority party, but refused to discuss in detail the content of his resignation letter.
“Yes it’s true that I have resigned. I provided the reasons to the party, but I am not willing to discuss the contents of the letter with you, because it is party property now,” Tjihuiko said.
Nudo secretary general Meundju Jahanika yesterday acknowledged that he has received Tjihuiko’s resignation letter: “I have seen the letter in which Mr Tjihuiko said he is tired of being part of Nudo and as a result he will move on with his life. He also wished us well for the future.”
Asked about the likely impact Tjihuiko’s departure will have on the party, Jahanika said, “I don’t think there will be any impact because since he left parliament [in March] he was not doing anything for the party… even if he goes we will not miss him.”
“When he joined the party he did so democratically, so in this case he is also using his democratic right to leave. We wish him all the best and goodbye to him,” said Jahanika, noting that they are still waiting for Tjihuiko to hand in his Nudo membership card, because it belongs to the party.
After leaving parliament, Tjihuiko continued to serve on the party’s second highest decision-making body, the National Council. The party’s constitution makes provision for all sitting and former MPs to be members of the National Council – albeit without voting rights.
Tjihuiko took up one of Nudo’s seats in the National Assembly from 2009 until March this year, but last year opted not to avail himself for re-election at the party’s electoral college, a move that many saw as a pre-emptive exit strategy leading to last week’s resignation.
Nudo currently receives N$1.9 million a year from the Treasury as party funding, because of the two seats it occupies in the National Assembly. There have been several attempts to get rid of Tjihuiko in the past. Just a few years ago the party’s youth wing wrote a letter to late party president Chief Kuaima Riruako, in which they proposed a vote of no confidence in Tjihuiko and urged the National Executive Committee to recall him from parliament. A police case was also opened after Tjihuiko received death threats from anonymous people, who allegedly urged him to quit the party.
Riruako roped Tjihuiko into NUDO circles after selecting him as one of his 10 appointees in 2004. Keen political observers have in recent times pointed out though, that without Riruako Tjihuiko’s stay in NUDO would be a short one. It turns out that without the late chief at the head of the party Tjihuiko’s time in NUDO lasted little more than a year and two months.
Tjihuiko said he would now focus his attention on several business interests, which he has set his sights on.