In a bid to challenge the ruling Swapo Party in northern Namibia the country’s official opposition, DTA, has decided to move its headquarters to Oshakati.
The announcement was made by party president McHenry Venaani at a press conference on Wednesday where he also announced that former Khomas Rural constituency councilor, Albert Tsuob, has been appointed as the acting secretary of the party’s elders’ council.
Venaani is worried that Swapo remains unchallenged in the northern regions while it continues to make inroads in other parts of the country that were previously dominated by opposition parties.
With the party due to elect a new permanent secretary before the end of March, Venaani said the entire administrative staff of the party would relocate to Oshakati.
“It is unfortunate that during the last regional council elections the ruling party got 25 uncontested seats. By relocating more attention will be given to the northern areas,” he said.
Venaani said he would, himself, be based at the northern office when parliament is in recess and when he has no activities to attend to in Windhoek.
“We need to be vigilant during the non-campaign periods to maintain the momentum of our growth,” he said.
The party said the relocation of the headquarters would take place before the end of March and continue until all the party’s strategic objectives have been met. The party currently operates from its office at parliament, but Venaani said land was already secured in Windhoek on which the party will construct its new regional office within the next two years.
The party currently has no office in the capital after it sold its Khomasdal headquarters and subsequently decided not to renew the rental agreement for the Ausspanplatz office it was renting.
Venaani denied claims that the party’s decision to relocate to the north is because it currently has no office it can call its own.
He maintained that the relocation is for strategic reasons.
Bring it on says Swapo
There have been claims during past years of the ruling party intimidating opposition party members, but Swapo in Oshana yesterday said it does not fear competition.
The party’s regional coordinator for Oshana, Erastus Kapolo, during a telephonic interview was confident that Swapo members would not intimidate the DTA when they eventually move to Oshakati – or any other opposition party for that matter.
“We had two elections recently but there were no reports of intimidation,” he said. Kapolo however questioned the party’s motive for moving base.
“Why did they take so long to move to the north. Is it because they got a seat on the Oshakati local authority?” he questioned.
Kapolo said: “We do not have a problem with their coming because we are ready to maintain what we have and our structures are in place to do that.”
Linus Tobias, who is also the party’s regional coordinator for Swapo, is the party’s councillor on the Oshakati Town Council.