Itula not a competitor – AR

09 July 2020 | Politics

OGONE TLHAGE

WINDHOEK



The Affirmative Repositioning (AR) movement does not see the Independent Patriots for Change (IPC), a mooted political party led by former presidential candidate Panduleni Itula, as immediate competitors to the movement's own political ambitions.

AR leader Dr Job Amupanda, who supported Itula for the 2019 presidential election, said Itula has every right to carve his own political path, but added that AR will remain on course for its own ideological inclinations.

“We supported Itula because he was an independent candidate and we had already supported Angelina Immanuel as an independent for Ondangwa earlier the same year,” Amupanda said.

“We give political, philosophical and ideological orientation to others. We play above party politics, so Itula is not an immediate opponent.”

“We don't have a monopoly over political process.

“We want to be true to the fact that we want land. The question that we must pose is: How do we meet our people at the point of need?”





No major role

Walvis Bay Urban independent councillor Knowledge Ipinge distanced himself from Itula's party, saying the dentist did not play a major role in his activism journey.

“During the build-up to the presidential elections in November, I rallied behind Itula merely based on the fact that he was running for office as an independent and not under the banner of any political party,” he said. “It is important to take note that at the time, there was no intention or plan for him to form a political party and if it was the case, I wouldn't have associated myself with his campaign.”

Itula is playing his cards close to his chest following confirmation by the Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) that a party, an idea championed by Itula, will be formed.

Chief electoral officer at the ECN, Theo Mujoro, this week confirmed that an application had been received from Itula.

Itula had announced the formation of the party, but would not elaborate when asked what agenda it would be driving.

“We will advise the nation in due course,” he said.

When asked when the party would be holding a congress or announcing its leaders, Itula simply said: “Soon”.

In a message shared to would-be members of the party, Itula encouraged those who would join the IPC to take membership cards of the political parties they belonged to to a convention that is yet to be held.

“Please encourage all to bring their membership cards to the convention and they will be collected and delivered safely to the respective headquarters of those parties,” he said.

“We have political differences of how we wish to restore our people's dignity, but we should never cultivate hatred or anger against our own brothers and sisters. No emotions and no anger against your fellow compatriots,” his message further read.



Presidential ambitions

Itula in October 2019 announced his plans to run as an independent candidate, much to the chagrin of Swapo, whom he was still a member of at the time. He deplored the state of housing and lack thereof, saying that it was unacceptable that Namibians were subjected to living in shacks.

“Today, our people are living in shacks, unable to relieve themselves when nature calls; that is not dignity for my people, that is not dignity for Namibians. Should they elect Itula, within the first periods of my administration, we will provide them with sanitisation,” he said. Itula ran against President Hage Geingob in the November elections, taking 29.4% of the votes and ending second behind the eventual winner, Geingob.

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