OMARURU deputy mayor Christian !Nanuseb announced that he will challenge for the leadership of the United Democratic Movement (UDF) because he believes the party is in a “political coma”.
The UDF will hold its elective congress in August at Usakos, in preparation of national elections next year.
!Nanuseb declared his intention to run for president of the UDF at the congress. He launched his manifesto at Otavi yesterday.
“The reason why I decided to challenge the status quo is because you must have noticed that the UDF is politically in a coma, because of the current leadership we have,” he told The Namibian yesterday.
!Nanuseb said he intends to transform the party into a lively political formation that every Namibian wants to be a part of.
He said his campaign is anchored on three pillars that advance issues of development, restitution, and equitable benefits to all party members.
!Nanuseb said he has been a member of the UDF since its formation in 1989 when the party was founded by Damara chief Justus //Garoëb.
The party has strongholds in the Erongo and Kunene regions and has been mostly associated with the Damara community, a perception that !Nanuseb plans to address.
“The only reason people are saying we’re a tribal-based or Damara-based party is because the leadership is not taking the party to the regions,” he said.
“My approach is to take the party to all the regions if I become president.”
!Nanuseb already visited the Otjozondjupa and Omaheke regions as part of his campaign.
However, his campaign has not been well received by the party leadership.
UDF president Apius Auchab told The Namibian yesterday the party has not yet sanctioned the campaigning.
He said the party’s executive committee met at Otjiwarongo on Sunday to plan for the upcoming congress.
Auchab said the meeting’s resolutions will be presented to the central committee for approval next week.
The party will also need to develop terms of reference for determining who will be the candidates and when the campaign will begin, he said.
“All these things were not done. But you find certain people who are running around. Some who are running around do not even know whether they are qualified to be nominated as candidates. So, we don’t mind them. We’re just busy with the planning ,” Auchab said.
However, !Nanuseb rejected Auchab’s assertion, saying that his campaign is within the confines of the party constitution.
!Nanuseb said the constitution requires the nomination of candidates and campaigning to begin three months before the congress.
Auchab has been at the helm of the UDF since taking over from //Garoëb in 2013.
However, he could not say whether he would be standing for re-election, saying it depended on the party’s membership.
The UDF currently has four seats in parliament, with two each in the National Assembly and National Council. The party is also well represented at local authority level, with four representatives in the Khorixas municipal council, two at Kamanjab and one each at Swakopmund, Outjo and Omaruru.