By Eliaser Ndeyanale
CRACKS have widened at the once vibrant Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP) party, with prominent figures in the party having resigned owing to rife reports of maladministration.
Insiders this week unpacked how financial irregularities and infighting over power is hampering the party’s progress.
Insiders also explained how an estimated N$140 000 was squandered by the office of the party’s president, Jeremiah Nambinga last year during a familiarisation visit by Nambinga and his team, countrywide.
Those said to have called it a day are former RDP Member of Parliament Anton von Wietersheim, party regional council election candidate for Windhoek East constituency Jens Schneider – who lost to Swapo’s Joyce Nangula- Namuhja in the elections last year – and Hardap regional secretary Simon Jantze.
Jantze could neither deny nor confirm his resignation when approached for comment on Tuesday. All he could say was, “Who is telling you that?”
RDP was formed by the late Hidipo Hamutenya and other prominent politicians after breaking away from Swapo in 2007. Nambinga took over as party president last year after founding president, Hamutenya had resigned from the party.
Sources also revealed that the political party is currently divided into two camps; the Nambinga camp mainly comprising of a few elders and former leaders of the expelled youth league; and that of secretary of international affairs Kandy Nehova which comprises mostly of the party youth.
The insiders also indicated that the Nambinga-led faction is suppressing other wings within the party, a tactic which is said to be frustrating other leaders to resign so that Nambinga loyalists could be elected in key positions.
The insiders also claimed that Nambinga’s autocratic rule has also frustrated the youth wing of the party which is now dormant.
Nambinga is further accused of sowing division within the party as he allegedly wants the sacked youth league leadership under former youth league leader Monica Nambelela to replace the current leadership.
”RDP is losing members faster than they are joining. The leadership is out of touch, people are resigning every day from the party and these are not ordinary people these are party heavyweights,” said a source, adding that Nambinga is sidelining those who did not support him at the party’s extraordinary convention last year where he (Nambinga) was elected as party president.
“The way he is circulating malicious lies, sowing division and calling people all sorts of names is unacceptable.”
Asked about his resignation, von Wietersheim said he only resigned from his executive position in the national executive committee.
“I resigned from my executive position when I moved to Swakopmund,” he said on Monday evening. Schneider also confirmed his resignation from the part after eight years saying the party’s leadership is the greatest liability and main stumbling block within the ranks.
“The RDP has lost its relevance as a political organisation, because it is unable to vigorously define its programme and does not address pressing socio-economic issues through its political platforms. The RDP leadership seems to have a problem to rid itself from its structural identity as the carbon copy of the current governing party. The party does not seem to be able to attract the right candidates for public office,” Schneider said. Schneider added that the RDP suffers from a fundamental flaw through its paternalistic disconnection from a 21st century youth. “I therefore concluded that the leadership of RDP is the greatest liability and the main stumbling block within the ranks of the RDP. In addition, I found that Namibia is ready for a citizen action movement that delivers to a 21st century Namibia and which does not linger in the glorious past; a movement that engages citizens in the decision-making process in every corner of our country; a movement not based on selective populism, but based on our nation’s diversity to deliberate and provide hard hitting and effective solutions for all our people.”
Asked about allegations of sowing division, Nambinga said he was not aware of that. As for the resignations, Nambinga said he was aware of Schneider’s resignation but did not go further into the matter.
Asked about the allegations of squandering of N$140 000 or to explain what the money was used for, Nambinga responded, “I don’t deal with finance, ask the treasurer or the office of the secretary general. They will tell you the right person to ask about money.”
Efforts to get comment from the treasurer however proved futile at the time of going to print.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015