RDP, Swanu to replace MPs

Mathias Haufiku
The country’s oldest political formation, the South West Africa National Union (Swanu), and the Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP) are preparing to replace their current representatives in the National Assembly later this month.

Namibian Sun understands RDP president Mike Kavekotora will be making way for his party deputy Kennedy Shekupakela.

The two parties have already given notice to the secretariat of the National Assembly regarding the planned changes. Each party only has one seat in parliament.

As for Swanu, former party president Tangeni Iijambo is heading into political retirement.

Both Iijambo and Kavekotora confirmed their imminent departure.

While Kavekotora is departing smoothly, Iijambo still has one last political migraine to deal with.

His preferred successor in parliament, Evilastus Kaaronda, has seemingly not met all the legal requirements to join the August house.

Kaaronda is not part of Swanu’s gazetted 2019 parliamentary list.

It is alleged that Iijambo is pushing hard to get him into parliament, despite the legal shortcomings.

After dragging him from political obscurity two years ago, Iijambo is adamant that only Kaaronda should serve on the party’s ticket in parliament.

The Swanu leadership will meet with the secretariat today to discuss the matter.


Parliamentary insiders claim the secretariat is hesitant to sanction Swanu’s proposed changes in order to avoid another dilemma like that of the Popular Democratic Movement (PDM), which saw several party members - who were not on the party’s parliamentary list - smuggled into parliament.

The members were later removed after their inclusion in parliament was challenged in court.

“Please call me next week for an answer on this matter. We want to do this right to avoid any fracas like that of PDM. At party level, we have reached consensus, but we want to make sure everything is in order,” Iijambo said when approached yesterday.

New blood

The RDP leader, who is currently serving his second term in parliament, said he wants to contribute to the country’s development and democracy in a different role.

He was, however, quick to point out that he is not retiring from politics.

“I am an output-driven person and I came into politics to see results, but it has not been forthcoming. Therefore, I realised I can have better synergy outside parliament,” Kavekotora said.

He said “Namibia needs a complete paradigm shift to grow”.

“The culture that has been adopted in this country is such that whoever is in power will not change anything. That is why we have had little output over the years. The only output we have as a country is unemployment, homelessness, poverty and a poor education system to which we continue to pay lip service,” he lamented.

He added: “I hope my departure will lead to a mass exodus by motivating those who have overstayed to pave way for new leaders and a new culture of doing things”.


He also claimed that the concept of separation of powers at government level is more fictional than realistic.

“Our governance system is flawed because you have members from the executive serving in the legislature, which does not bode well for accountability. Our parliament is also weak because it has been reduced to the level of a department,” he said.

Meanwhile, Kavekotora said the country still does not have a Parliamentary Service Commission because the secretariat of the National Assembly is “weak”.

“The Speaker does not want to push serious reforms because he is weak and due to the fact that Swapo continues to pump people into parliament who must toe the line.

“The executive sees some of us as a nuisance, hence they do not consider our recommendations,” he said.


Namibian Sun 2023-03-30

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