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HH steps down, RDP sacks youth league leaders

2015-02-16  Mathias Haufiku

HH steps down, RDP sacks youth league leaders
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By Mathias Haufiku WINDHOEK - Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP) president, Hidipo Hamutenya, announced his retirement at the party central committee meeting over the weekend, and says he would step down as the party president at the end of this month, RDP’s Secretary for Information and Publicity, Jeremia Nambinga, told a press conference yesterday in Windhoek. Steve Bezuidenhoudt, who is the current RDP vice-president, will serve as the acting president until the party holds its extraordinary congress sometime in May, Nambinga said. RDP says Hamutenya would complete his term as RDP MP in Parliament, which ends in March. “The president of RDP, Comrade Livius Hidipo Hamutenya, has indicated that he wishes to retire from the party presidency and active politics at the end of February 2015,” Nambinga said, adding that the party has accepted and adopted Hamutenya’s retirement. Hamutenya was not immediately available for comment yesterday, and messages and phone calls to his mobile went unanswered. However, a text message shared with New Era indicates that Hamutenya informed the party’s vice-president and secretary general of his intentions to retire in December last year but did not give a specific timeframe. Sources say he needed time to consult with family and friends on the retirement date. On Saturday, the RDP central committee also axed the entire youth league leadership elected at Keetmanshoop in 2013. Nambinga said the central committee resolved the long-standing dispute of the RDP youth league by complying with the 2013 High Court judgment in 2013. “The CC has dissolved the youth leadership that was elected at Keetmanshoop on 29 September 2013,” announced Nambinga. A six-member interim committee will be established to manage all RDPYL matters and to organise a convention to elect new leadership by May this year.” Former youth league secretary, Sibuku Malumbano, together with Steve Kevanhu and Marvin Veseevete, were suspended in 2013 for their allegiance to Hamutenya’s challenger Kandy Nehova as their preferred candidate for the party’s top seat. Malumbano, Kevanhu and Veseevete walked out of the 2013 Keetmanshoop youth league convention alleging the convention was stained with favouritism between the splinter groups of Hamutenya and Nehova. In their absence, the convention adopted a vote of no confidence in them and subsequently elected Monica Nambelela as the league secretary. Nambelela yesterday said the youth leadership has not been served with written documents on the matter. “We want everything to be put on black and white, after that we will call a press conference. What I can say is that if they nullify the Keetmanshoop meeting, it means the delegates who voted at the party’s electoral college and those who were on the party lists for the National Assembly elections were there illegally,” she said. “If this is the case then it means we were not honest to ECN (Electoral Commission of Namibia) regarding our candidates on the list because they were voted for at the electoral college by people who went to the college illegally,” she said. During the Saturday’s meeting, Hamutenya spoke of the internal party squabbles and urged the party leadership to place more emphasis on the youth. “It has become increasingly clear that there is no common direction and, in many cases, petty squabbles tend to overshadow the work that was supposed to be carried out to move forward,” Hamutenya said. He blamed poor organisation and planning and, in many cases, lack of commitment for the party’s dismal performance at the polls last year. “The RDP is not a lost cause, on the contrary, we are an important component of the political landscape of this country. As such, we need to put our shoulders to the grinding stone and work hard to regain our losses and win the next elections,” said Hamutenya.
2015-02-16  Mathias Haufiku

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