WINDHOEK – Opposition party Nudo – currently in a battle for its soul following a botched elective congress two weeks ago – has no property registered in its name, despite receiving millions of dollars from government for years.
The party, which for the past four years has received over N$2.7 million annually for its two seats in the National Assembly and one in the National Council, does not have a single tangible asset registered in its name, New Era can reveal.
The party receives N$900,000 per seat annually.
Money is paid to political parties in proportion to the number of seats they have in parliament.
Of the 144 seats in both houses, the ruling party Swapo has 127 seats – making it the biggest recipient of government funds given to each political party for parliamentary representation.
But while Swapo, which understandably has a multi-million business empire of its own, is contemplating constructing its headquarters to the tune of about N$400 million, a divided Nudo has no asset to brag about to its peers.
Currently, the party is renting a house opposite the Ovaherero Commando No. 1 as its headquarters – for which it pays about N$7,500 monthly.
The party also has a rented office in Okakarara, an iron-corrugated office at Otjinene and an office at Aminuis made out of precast material. Otjinene has traditionally been the party’s stronghold.
The party has only one functioning motor vehicle, while the only other one it has has been grounded for ages.
Nudo president Asser Mbai yesterday told New Era that the party has been unable to afford a property of its own due to financial constraints.
The party had deposited N$270,000 towards a property it intended on turning into its office, but a dispute over ownership stalled the purchase.
“I am not the accounting officer – if you want to find out about the party finances please contact the party secretary general or the secretary for finance,” said Mbai when pressed on party finances.
He said the N$2.7 million they receive from government annually is being used to pay staff and for the administration of party activities. He didn’t say how many people the party employs.
Nudo – founded by legendary politicians Mburumba Kerina, Clemens Kapuuo, and Hosea Kutako in September 1965 – is currently divided into two camps, following a chaotic and violent congress that was called off two weeks ago as two factions bayed for each other’s blood.
One group is backing current deputy secretary general Vetaruhe Kandorozu for party presidency, a position also sought by his rival Utjiua Muinjangue.
Muinjangue and her slate this week said they will approach the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) to file a case of mismanagement of funds against outgoing secretary general Meundju Jahanika.
They are accusing Jahanika of having squandered over N$500,000 of funds belonging to the party.
Jahanika phone was unreachable yesterday.