Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP) president Jeremiah Nambinga believes high-profile defections from the party to Swapo are the last kicks of dying horses, as the defectors were no longer of any political relevance.
Nambinga was reacting to defections last week by a group led by RDP’s former Oshikoto regional secretary Ismael Shailemo, who rejoined Swapo last week Wednesday alongside Moses Shingo, a former RDP district coordinator for Tsumeb, and another former official of the party, George Mathews.
High-profile personalities who left the party for Swapo in recent weeks include former RDP president Hidipo Hamutenya, who also defected to the ruling party in August this year.
He is ‘irrelevant’ and would not be able to lure RDP supporters to Swapo Party, RDP president Jeremiah Nambinga said. Hamutenya was followed by former director of elections Phillemon Kanime, Magnus Nangombe, Ambassador Shapwa Kaukungua and Reverend Festus Naholo, who joined Swapo a fortnight ago.
Reacting to the defections during an interview with New Era, Nambinga played down the implications that the defections could have on the dislodged former official opposition.
“Hidipo [Hamutenya] is irrelevant. I addressed a meeting in Ohangwena last weekend and our people are confident, he [Hamutenya] will not be able to do anything,” a confident Nambinga said last week, after it came to light that Hamutenya would address a Swapo rally at Ohangwena last weekend.
Nambinga also accused the Shailemo group of being “irrelevant”.
“Firstly they must ask themselves why they left Swapo, and if they are saying things are well in Swapo now, are they implying that [Sam] Nujoma or [Hifikepunye] Pohamba were the cause of the problem? Because if that is the case, then they are confused because Nujoma and Pohamba are still respected in Swapo and are still very influential,” he said.