NUDO ‘oiling election machinery’ for Otjinene by-elections

GOBABIS: The National Unity Democratic Organisation (NUDO)’s regional leadership in Otjinene is hard at work preparing for by-elections slated for later this year.

The actual date for the elections is yet to be set.

The branch administrator for Otjinene, Jackson Hambira told Nampa on Wednesday that the party will be oiling all its election machinery to make sure that Otjinene remains under the leadership of NUDO.

A by-election in Otjinene – the main economic centre in the Omaheke Region’s constituency bearing the same name – became necessary following government’s decision to change the status of Otjinene and Oranjemund from settlements to towns in 2012.

The Oranjemund elections in the /Karas Region were held successfully, while those in Otjinene were postponed when the Swapo-Party and NUDO challenged the registration of over 404 prospective voters prior to the envisaged election last year.

The merit of the challenge was the eligibility of the concerned individuals as voters. It was taken to court, where it was struck off the court roll in the same year.

Only those who have lived in a town for 12 months consecutively and can provide a municipal bill under their name or through sworn statements by others, are eligible to vote in local authority elections.

Hambira said despite facing an uphill battle of having to forge ahead with the by-elections without the influential support of the party’s late president Kuaima Riruako, all is in place to secure a victory for NUDO.

Riruako died earlier this month in the capital. He will be laid to rest on Sunday at Okahandja.

“We are mourning the loss of a great son of the soil, and undoubtedly the driving force behind our party. NUDO as a party, however, has standing rules and guidelines to guide us in times like these, and as such we should not despair,” he stated.

The politician further urged all members of the party to make sure that they register for the by-elections during the ongoing supplementary voters’ registration process, which started on Monday and ends on Wednesday.

“We ought to keep the legacy of our departed chief alive by turning up in numbers to register for the upcoming by-elections. Our chief would have wanted us to keep his spirit alive by going on with the programmes and projects he had started,” Hambira noted.

NUDO has been in control of the Otjinene and Aminuis constituencies since independence, building a political fortress around these two regions. The party is yet to lose an election in these constituencies.

Other parties which had registered to contest the Otjinene by-elections are the Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP), Swanu of Namibia and the Swapo-Party.