Itula reacts to 'autocracy' accusations

18 September 2020 | Politics

JEMIMA BEUKES

WINDHOEK



Independent Patriots for Change (IPC) leader Dr Panduleni Itula says he is unshaken by critics and aggrieved members who have labelled him a “hypocrite” and “an autocrat”.

“I have been called a hypocrite and autocratic and all types of criticisms have been thrown at us, but we will not respond to allegations that have no basis. Get hold of those members and let them give you the evidence on paper,” Itula said yesterday.

He said there was no concrete evidence to substantiate the claims being made against him and the party and hence they would not be responding to “unfounded allegations”.He also referred Namibian Sun to the party's constitution, which allows an aggrieved member to petition the constituency executive committee, regional executive committee or the national executive committee for redress.

“A grievance shall involve an allegation of unjust or unfair treatment by the party against the member, breaching the member's right to dignity,” Itula said, while quoting the relevant section of the IPC constitution, which also says these entities will, within 21 days of the receipt of a petition, investigate the grievance, conclude its deliberations and notify the member of the outcome.



'Autocratic Swapo rules'

Itula, a former Swapo member who gained political prominence when he competed as an independent candidate against President Hage Geingob in last year's State House race in which he





garnered nearly 30% of the vote, launched IPC recently, which will field candidates in the upcoming local and regional authority elections.

However, Itula has come under fire recently from former sympathisers and party members who have accused him of using the same “autocratic Swapo rules” he rebelled against.

IPC's former Samora Machel constituency leader Henry Ngenomesho is among those who accused Itula of handpicking members for senior positions, instead of subjecting them to elections.

“Dr Itula, he took the names from his pocket and … informed people to adopt those leaderships,” Ngenomesho claimed.



'This is hypocrisy'

It has also been claimed that the IPC constitution does not speak to informal business owners, who are some of Itula's fiercest supporters.

Walvis Bay Urban constituency councillor Knowledge Ipinge recently called Itula a hypocrite.

“For me, this is hypocrisy. You cannot have gained popularity by being an independent candidate, and now that you have formed your own party you are saying the opposite.

“He should be consistent with what he does,” Ipinge said about the fact that the IPC constitution does not support independent candidates.

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