Knowledge is not in my league - Itula
29 September 2020 | Politics
Independent Patriots for Change (IPC) leader Panduleni Itula says he is not open to debating Walvis Bay Urban constituency councillor Knowledge Ipinge, who he described as “a political novice”, and not in his league.
Ipinge launched his re-election campaign earlier this month and challenged the former presidential candidate to a debate.
“I am challenging Dr Itula to a one-to-one debate at Walvis Bay immediately under the topic of veto politics,” Ipinge said at the time.
Itula, however, responded that Ipinge is no match for him.
“I am not a candidate in any elections. Advise him to get his contemporaries,” Itula told Namibian Sun over the weekend, while reiterating that Ipinge is a political newcomer and not in his league.
Ipinge, a former footballer, won the Walvis Bay Urban constituency by-election earlier this year and plans to again stand as an independent candidate in the upcoming local and regional authority elections slated for November. Earlier this month Ipinge spat venom at Itula and his new party.
“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 of Itula, who garnered about 30% of the vote in last year's presidential election that saw President Hage Geingob's support plunge from 87% in 2014 to 56.3%.
Asked about his relationship with Itula, Ipinge said he never had the former presidential candidate's backing.
He said Itula's new political party makes it clear in its constitution that it does not support independent candidates.
“I will not be drawn into discussing Dr Itula as an individual, as the debate subject was closed over three weeks ago, unless he is looking to draw me into another public relations stunt, which I will not entertain, unfortunately,” Ipinge said at the weekend.
He added he was focused on his campaign strategy.
“Kindly inform Dr Itula that with all due respect, the only subject I will ever engage him on moving forward will be about the Walvis Bay Urban constituency,” Ipinge said further.
Bring it on
Meanwhile, Popular Democratic Movement leader McHenry Venaani said Ipinge and other politicians are welcome to challenge him at any time.
“Any time… It's my job,” Venaani said.