Namibia: Nudo Leadership Squabbles Continue

Newly elected National Unity Democratic Organisation President Esther Utjiua Muinjangue.

The National Unity Democratic Organisation (Nudo)'s leadership disputes, confrontation and power hunger continue to intensify as self-proclaimed party president Esther Muinjangue has yet again threatened to sue for power.

This follows the party's disputed third elective congress which took place over the weekend of 25-26 May at a conference centre north of Windhoek.

The outcomes of the congress were, however, nullified by outgoing party president Asser Mbai who said there was confusion, disagreements and unresolved issues between party members and opposing factions.

Muinjangue's faction 'Team Nudo', and that of her opponent Vetaruhe Kandorozu, 'Team VK 100%', failed to reach an agreement on Saturday over the legitimacy of about 120 delegates (supporting Muinjangue), who claimed to represent branches from the Omaheke and Erongo regions.

The delegates claimed to have been "deliberately excluded" from the list of participating delegates at the congress by outgoing secretary general Meundjuu Jahanika.

Processes followed to convene the congress were also widely questioned by Muinjangue's supporters.

Despite the nullification of the outcomes, Muinjangue, who was running for the party presidential position, proclaimed herself as the party's president after she was elected through an uncontested election in which her opponent, Kandorozu and his supporters, did not take part after they were barred from entering the congress hall unregistered.

Yesterday, Muinjangue, through an urgent letter from her lawyer Kadhila Amoomo, tried to stop a planned Nudo national executive committee meeting that would discuss the possibility of holding another congress following last weekend's incidents.

The meeting which was supposed to take place at 18h00 yesterday, was organised by Mbai and his leadership.

She argued that since the result and the outcomes of the congress were not set aside by a competent court, it "remains valid and bears legal consequences". Therefore, Mbai and his group should not go ahead with the planned national executive committee meeting.

"In the event that you persist with the aforementioned unlawful conduct, we are under instructions to approach the High Court to obtain an urgent interdict in terms of which you are directed to immediately desist from passing off as the president, secretary general and as leadership of Nudo, despite the outcomes of the elective congress," reads Muinjangue's urgent letter.

In his response, outgoing party president Mbai argued that he was still the leader of the party, and that yesterday's meeting would take place. "The said congress did not convene, and was therefore cancelled. As a result, me and my leadership in all party structures remain the substantive leadership of Nudo," Mbai said.

Muinjangue earlier this week also threatened to sue Mbai and Jahanika if they failed to hand over all party properties and resources (including vehicles, machines as well as office keys), as well as vacate Nudo's offices so that she can move in.

She gave them until Friday [today] to remove their belongings from the party's premises.

She urged Mbai to stop referring to himself and other "former Nudo officials" as the leadership of the party because they were removed after she 'took over' last weekend.

"The congress elected me as the president of the party. Mbai is now telling people that the congress was cancelled, and that they would call for another congress. There is no such thing; the next congress that will come is in 2023, when we will elect another leadership," she added.

On the other hand, Kandorozu, who is the substantive party deputy secretary general, this week said they were not going to comply with Muinjangue's request, and that they were ready to defend the party's integrity in court if the latter decided to go to court.

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