• June 17th, 2019
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‘I’m going to State House’… Kavekotora after winning RDP presidency



WINDHOEK – New Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP) president Mike Kavekotora, who was elected at an elective convention over the weekend, says he has his eyes firmly set on becoming Namibia’s president after national elections slated for November.

Former National Housing Enterprise (NHE) CEO and TransNamib executive Kavekotora, 62, who hails from the Kunene Region, fended off challenges from party veteran Kandy Nehova and central committee member Miriam Hamutenya.

Kavekotora, who was in charge of NHE from 2000 to 2005, succeeds businessman Jeremiah Nambinga, who resigned last year as party president. Speaking to New Era yesterday, party’s Secretary for Information and Publicity Nghiningiluandubo Kashume said 625 delegates attended the convention but only 490 cast their votes. Out of 490 votes cast, Kavekotora received 243 votes against Nehova’s 133 and Hamutenya 100. Fourteen votes were spoiled.

The party also elected former RDP leader in the Kavango Region, Kennedy Shekupakela as party vice-president. He ran on Kavekotora’s slate.

Contestants  for vice-president were Shekupakela who received 231 against Heiko Lucks 137, Eino Heelu, 32 and 76 received by Tjinezuma Kavari. Responding to his victory, Nampa quoted Kavekotora to have said: “I can assure you that it is going to be a very different year in Namibia’s political landscape. My eyes now after going through the first hurdle are set on the presidency. I am going to State House [as Head of State].” 

Asked how this ambitious dream would be realised, he replied: “We are going to put up a strategy. We will go to every corner of this country to demonstrate that the current ruling party has failed in the delivery of services and aspirations of the Namibian people.”

The ruling party Swapo has confirmed on numerous occasions that its leader, Head of State Hage Geingob, is to stand as its candidate.

There have been murmurs among some Swapo members of a possibility of an independent candidate from within the party ranks.

Swapo’s official position is that any of its members contemplating to run as an independent presidential candidate would have to officially resign from the party, or risk being expelled.   At the time of going to print last night, the RDP convention result for the positions of party secretary general and deputy secretary-general were still to be counted.

Those in the run for the secretary general’s post are City of Windhoek (CoW) RDP councillor Brunhilde Cornelius, Inspector of Education for the Ohakafiya Circuit Walter Ndakondja and party Chief Administrator Asser Sheuyange.   The RDP was launched on 17 November 2007 under the leadership of late Hidipo Hamutenya and Jesaya Nyamu, both former leading members of the ruling Swapo and Cabinet ministers. 

Hamutenya had unsuccessfully sought the Swapo nomination for president in 2004. 
At the time of its launch, RDP was considered to represent the strongest challenge to Swapo’s political dominance since the country gained its independence in 1990. 

According to Hamutenya, speaking at the RDP’s launch, the party was “born in response to our people’s deep longing for a vision, political direction and the rekindling of their hopes and aspiration for a better and prosperous future”.

Though it became the country’s official opposition party after the 2009 general elections, the party performed poorly in the 2014 elections and lost its official opposition status to McHenry Venaani’s DTA, now called the Popular Democratic Movement (PDM). 
– Additional reporting by Nampa


Kuzeeko Tjitemisa
2019-06-03 08:43:25 13 days ago

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