Otjombinde constituency councillor Katjanaa Kaurivi, who made history in 2015 when he defeated a fellow Swapo member, albeit as an independent candidate, has announced his intention to contest the upcoming regional council election. Kaurivi confirmed this to New Era in an interview last week. When asked whether he has tendered his resignation with Swapo, Kaurivi simply said he does not need to, claiming "Swapo has my membership card, ask the regional coordinator - they might as well do it themselves". The ruling party recently formalised the closing up of the independent candidacy loophole, following a virtual extraordinary congress earlier this month.
The amendments to the constitution bar any of its members from standing as independent candidates or a representative of an association for presidential, regional council, local authority or any other election.
As it stands, Kaurivi will be contesting against National Unity Democratic Organisation (Nudo) preferred candidate for the constituency Werner Kambato and Swanu's Rasta Mbuende.
Swapo is still to put forward its candidate; however, New Era understands the race is between Muree Mbingana and Wenzel Kavaka.
In 2015, Kaurivi defeated then Swapo's Otjombinde constituency councillor Karii Marenga with 1 396 votes to 681, followed by Swanu's Jeremiah Ndjoze with 267 votes and the DTA Lukas Katjiremba with 134 votes.
"I have started a number of projects that I want to see through. In this regard, I am calling on the inhabitants of Otjombinde to go out in numbers and exercise their democratic rights and vote for the right candidate in the name of Kaurivi to move this constituency forward," Kaurivi said. He also encouraged other politicians, especially those at regional and local authority levels to stand as independent candidates.
"As an independent candidate, you don't report to any political formation; you report back to those who voted you into power. I have given the electorate my report and I expect them to vote me into power again," Kaurivi said.
Kaurivi said despite the cold shoulder he received from Swapo councillors, who are the majority in the regional council, he has managed to facilitate the setting up of a mobile clinic, construction of auction kraals and the setting up of an NBC tower at Helena village.
Also, he said, he facilitated the installation of an electrical fence on the Namibia-Botswana border.
Kaurivi added he is currently lobbying for the setting up of a mobile clinic, auction kraals and mobile police station at Okatumba gate.
"My next assignment, if elected, is, among others, to develop Okatumba gate to have basic things such as a clinic, network coverage, and many other things," he said.
Otjombinde constituency is an electoral constituency in the Omaheke region.
The district capital of the constituency is the settlement of Otjombinde; its main economic hub is Tallismanus.
The constituency forms part of the border between Namibia and Botswana; it contains the settlements of Eiseb, Helena and Rietfontein.