Venaani accused of being authoritarian

12 August 2019 | Politics

Suspended Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) councillor Othniel Tjikuua has accused party president McHenry Venaani of running the political party as if it was his property.

Tjikuua was recently suspended on disciplinary charges of gross insubordination and violation of the PDM Code of Conduct Schedule A(B).

“Mr Tjikuua has further been given 14 days from receipt of the written letter to show cause as to why he should not be subjected to a disciplinary hearing,” party secretary-general Manuel Ngaringombe said in a statement. Tjikuua was further forbidden to attend any PDM events. When called for comment, Tjikuua accused Venaani of running the party like his personal property and said he was a victim of tribalism because he had backed a traditional faction Venaani did not favour.

“Venaani is not open to be challenged at all. There is no democracy in the party at all. Venaani is treating PDM like his own house,” said Tjikuua. According to him, party members have to agree with Venaani's views on how the party must be managed.

“There is no democracy in the party. If you do not agree with Venaani, you will be labelled as a traitor,” Tjikuua said. Asked whether he would oppose his suspension, Tjikuua said he respected the party's decision and would not participate in any of its activities.

“I love politics. Do not be surprised if I join another political party,” he said. Asked if he would consider running as an independent candidate for the 2020 local authority elections, Tjikuua said no. Tjikuua joins former PDM member Olsen Kahiriri, who is also in the political wilderness. Kahiriri has also accused the party of being undemocratic.

In a recent statement, Kahiriri said: “I have tried my best to promote democracy, something that I have learned during my tenure with the organisation ... was not welcome.”

OGONE TLHAGE

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