Journalist Kuzeeko Tjitemisa speaks to National Unity Democratic Organisation’s (NUDO) presidential hopeful Vetaruhe Kandorozu who intends to lead the opposition party into next year’s Presidential and National Assembly elections. Kandorozu, who is the party’s current deputy secretary-general and Okakarara Constituency councillor since 2005, is challenging Utjiua Muinjangue for the party presidency ahead of an elective congress set for May 25 -27.
KT: Why do you want to run for the position of the NUDO President?
VK: I have been the councillor for the Okakarara Constituency since 2005, I am the party’s deputy secretary-general. I strongly feel it is about time for me to move my political career to another level.
Apart from that, I was nominated by several branches across the country for the position, since I have been in different leadership positions within the party. I thought “why not? let me take the challenge”.
Also, the current party president Asser Mbai who decided not to run for the position encouraged me to run for the position.
Likewise, I feel that I have done enough for the Okakarara community and it is about time to move to another level.
KT: Once elected as Nudo president it would mean you would be competing with President Hage Geingob for the country presidency next year. What are some of your achievements at Okakarara that proves you could lead Namibia?
VK: I have not done a lot at Okakarara as an individual, but as part of the regional government as part of the community I have done my level best.
When I took over at Okakarara in 2005, there was no financial institutions in terms of banks, people had to travel to Otjiwarongo or Grootfontein or Okahandja to do financial transactions.
But as we speak now, there are banks such as Bank Windhoek, First National Bank (FNB) and Standard Bank; this is because of my engagement with stakeholders.
Also when I took over, there were no retail shops such as Shoprite, hardware stores and private doctors, now we have all these and this is because of my intervention with the support of the central government and the community.
Similarly, we only had one mobile telecommunication tower at Okakarara when I took over, as we speak, we now have six.
This are just some of my achievements as the councillor Okakarara, going forward I am ready to take whatever challenge that comes my way.
Comes 2020, I will be ready to stand against President Hage Geingob, my record speaks for itself.
KT: Are you aware of sentiments that you cannot be NUDO president because you are Omumbanderu and NUDO is supposedly Ovaherero party?
VK: Yes…I have heard of that but that is very shallow reasoning. I am a 50/50; my mother is fifty per cent Herero and fifty per cent Mbanderu, that is the same with my father.
But at NUDO we want to have a paradigm shift were we move from one tribal representation to accommodate other languages. Even as we speak we do not have enough Mbanderu within NUDO, so we also need to find a strategy and modalities on how to penetrate the dominated Mbanderu areas so that they can come on board.
What we want is to engage all other tribes; all other language groups so that they can join us.
Next year we will be traveling to all fourteen regions of the country to invite new members, recruit them, accommodate them on the party structures so that by the time the next congress comes, their membership will be five years old and they can take executive positions within the party.
Next year the party will be re-structuring the branches, which will be a good opportunity for the party to attract all tribes across the country.
Our level of reasoning is to move away from being a one tribe party to a multiple one that’s why you see in our slate we got Deputy National Treasurer, Gretchen Boois so that when we go to the south we have someone who can speak the language.
KT: If you go to parliament as NUDO president how do you intent on approaching genocide matter?
VK: Our late president Dr Kuaima Riruako moved the motion in Parliament and it was enormously adopted. As a party that moved the motion, we feel that we are not being recognised as the custodian of the motion. As a party, we had a vision on how the motion should be handled but right now we feel we are being sidelined.
Firstly, the affected communities did not elect Zed Ngavirue; President Hage Geingob nominated him. There were no consultations at all, and this is what we are not happy with. President Geingob should have consulted the affected communities before appointing Ngavirue. If decisions are not participatory, people will revolt and that is the current situation.
But my approach on genocide will be to convince government to come to terms with traditional authorities, the affected communities and to involve them in the negotiations.
KT: How will you deal with the land issue?
VK: The land issue is straightforward and we are very happy that at last the current administration has decided to bring in ancestral and restitution as part of the agenda of the land conference.
Our proposal is that ancestral land must benefit those people who lost land directly or indirectly through their ancestors. We are not saying that we should be taken back where our parents use to leave but we will be happy if one of the affected communities are resettled at our ancestors farms.
Our proposal is that thirty per cent of the land must be given to the affected communities and twenty per cent should be nationalised. Also what we do not want is foreigners owning farmland in our country. Foreigner’s farms must be expropriated and they must be compensated.
KT: Lastly, How is the relationship between your team and the one of Utjiua Muinjangue?
VK: The relationship is very healthy on our side; I cannot speak on their behalf. We are commenting on their social media time line and they are commenting on ours.
Our campaign is moving on a reconciliatory tone, and we are not using any derogatory language, we are not victimising or harming or insulting anybody. Our focus is what we can deliver if we are given the chance.
Kandorozu slate includes, Professor Jekura Kavari as Deputy President, Vehonga Kaijere as National Treasurer, Gretchen Boois as Deputy National Treasurer, Meundju Jahanika as Secretary General, Lesley Kauandara Deputy Secretary General, Likuis Mupya and Ndankie Hangero as National Chairperson and Deputy National Chairperson.