WINDHOEK, 27 MAY – In the midst of a tussle for power in the National Unity Democratic Organisation (Nudo), Utjiua Miunjangue claims to have been legitimately elected as the party’s president at its just-ended chaotic third elective congress.
Miunjangue made these remarks during a media briefing on Saturday at the Greiters Conference Centre, where the party’s elective congress, which was later derailed, started Friday.
“The congress took place this weekend and I was elected as the new president of Nudo. There was no competition at all,” Miunjangue said.
She thanked her fellow Nudo members and traditional leaders for their support during her campaign trail.
“Their guidance and advice is something we appreciate,” she said, adding that Nudo’s constitution will be amended to strengthen the relationship between its leadership and traditional leaders.
However, the credibility of Miunjangue’s election is a bone of contention as only delegates from her camp (Team Nudo) participated in the voting process.
Delegates from the opposing ‘Team 100 per cent VK’ said they were denied entry into the voting venue, while others opted to abstain from what they termed an ‘illegal’ process.
Miunjangue said it was not her fault that some Nudo members opted against participating in the election, adding that the congress was officially opened on Friday and proceeded as planned.
“It’s not for me to answer why anyone decided not be part of the congress,” she said.
Asked about the evident divisions between the two factions, Miunjangue said: “I don’t know that the party is divided. I am hearing that from you.”
From the onset, the legality of the congress was questioned.
Normally, a body called the National Conference is responsible for convening the elective congress, but this body has been dormant for the last five years. Instead, the congress was convened by the National Council, Nudo’s highest decision-making body between two elective congresses.
However, Nudo’s constitution makes no provision for any other organ of the party, including the council, to convene the congress, hence the view that the entire congress is “illegal”.
Asked whether or not an illegal gathering had elected her, Miunjangue said: “We went to court. The same court decided that the congress should go ahead. We trust our legal system. That is why the former president (Asser Mbai) also opened the congress officially.”
According to Miunjangue, over 300 Nudo delegates participated in the process to elect the new leaders.
Miunjangue’s new Nudo leadership is composed of her as president, Aminuis Constituency Councillor Peter Kazongominja as vice president, Windhoek Councillor Joseph Kauandenge as secretary general, Elia Kandjii as national chairperson and Uaraa Uapingene as deputy SG. Other positions filled include that of treasurer and national mobiliser.
Mbai, who was not part of the voting process, did not approve Miunjangue’s purported presidency.
“For as long as I am president of this party, I will not tolerate unilateral decisions. There is no new president and I will only pronounce myself after we hold another congress,” he told reporters.
Asked about Miunjangue’s declaration of being the new president, Mbai said: “That is their democratic right to say so. But as for the Nudo I lead, I am still its president.”
He said a new congress date will be announced in due course to elect the party’s new leadership.