Namibia: PDM Unhappy With Primary Results

Disgruntled members of the Popular Democratic Movement claim they were discriminated against and victimised during the party's primary elections.

Party members said this in a petition addressed to party secretary general Manuel Ngaringombe last week.

Instead of being voted for, aspirant candidates for regional councils and authorities were interviewed by party administrators.

This, they said was a violation of a directive by the national executive committee, which says interviews should be done in public in community halls. They said after the interviews, the score sheets were not shared with them.

"We have served the party at different levels with dedication and we served as foot soldiers for the party to flourish for years. We have earned our places to be given a platform to serve the party at local governance and we are deeply aggrieved by the manner in which the party sidelines the most loyal members to serve the interest of leaders who have their own agenda," the members said.

"The scores are not known, as they await the meeting of the national executive committee. As directed, these scores should have been discussed with the party's constituency leadership before being submitted for consideration by the national executive committee," the members said.

The interviews lacked transparency and there is no evidence how the scoring process was done, the members said in their petition.

"We have noted that there is an autocratic leadership style within a democratic movement. The message we are sending to the electorate is discrimination, victimisation and autocracy." In the process, the party's representative in the Windhoek city council Ignatius Semba fell from grace after he was placed at position eight on the party list for Windhoek local authority while his counterparts at Okakarara, Okahandja, Omaruru and Katima Mulilo have been placed number one on their respective lists.

However, Ngaringombe said at a press conference on Thursday that those who are complaining are "casualties of the system".

"PDM has completed a vigorous and transparent process of nominating, vetting and confirming its candidates for the regional council and local authority elections slated for 25 November 2020," he said.

He promised that the party councillors will fight relentlessly to erode corruption at the local governance level, and to ensure that the work of the regional councils and local authorities is done in a transparent and effective manner.

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