RDP in Legal Brawl

DISGRUNTLED Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP) youth leader Sibuku Malumbano has threatened court action against his party which he accuses of being undemocratic and acting to the detriment of the organisation.

This follows Malumbano’s controversial ousting from his position in September last year. He has since instituted legal proceedings against the party, by referring the matter to his lawyers. He accuses the party of ignoring internal policies and regulations, after it approved “an illegitimate” youth executive to take office.

His claims stem from the RDP youth wing’s extraordinary convention held

in Keetmanshoop last September, where a new youth leadership with Monica Nambelela as secretary, was elected.

The Keetmanshoop extraordinary convention was allegedly marred in controversy with two of Malumbano’s allies – Steve Kevanhu and Marvin Veseevete – suspended on the eve of the convention.

Kevanhu and Veseevete took the matter to court and the suspension was lifted just in time for them to take part in the convention.

Malumbano confirmed to The Namibian this week that he had taken legal action against the party.

He wrote to party president Hidipo Hamutenya, contesting the outcome of the convention. In his letter, he pointed out that the aim and purpose of the convention was derailed.

He pointed out that the convention’s agenda was supposed to discuss the youth league’s draft constitution, and elect a delegation to represent it at the party’s national elective convention later that year.

Malumbano further said the youth convention instead elected a youth leadership, while it was not mandated to do so. He also said his tenure was due to end in March this year, with an elective convention expected to take place shortly afterwards.

In the letter, Malumbano said he was also angered by the fact that the Keetmanshoop convention had no quorum since only 92 of a possible 270 delegates participated. The quorum requires at least 50% of applicable delegates to participate.

Malumbano’s complaint to Hamutenya was ignored until March this year when the party received a letter from his lawyers Fisher, Quarmby and Pfeifer.

The lawyers demanded that the party admits that the Keetmanshoop extraordinary convention had no quorum and that all the results should be nullified.

He also demanded that the ousted leadership under Malumbano be reinstated and be allowed to prepare for an elective convention to be held as soon as possible. He threatened to go to court should the party fail to meet his demands.

Shortly thereafter the party executive created a committee consisting of “four wise men” to look into the matter and resolve infighting within the youth structures as well as to come up with a solution that will prevent a lawsuit.

It was also noted that the party could not afford legal fees.

The committee was chaired by Hamutenya and consisted of Mike Kavekotora, Anton von Wietersheim and Kandy Nehova.

The committee met the Nambelela as well as the Malumbano factions and decided that both groups share power until an elective convention is held after the national elections this year.

The committee allegedly unanimously agreed to nullify the Keetmanshoop convention drop suspensions of two of Malumbano’s supporters push for a power-sharing agreement between the two factions prepare for a national elective convention and instruct Malumbano and his group to drop the pending court challenge.

On 10 May, the committee tabled a report and recommendations to the party executive which is also chaired by Hamutenya. At that meeting, four party executive members allegedly rejected the recommendations, and Hamutenya allegedly also made a U-turn and joined those who opposed the recommendations.

Malumbano told The Namibian this week that his group was willing to compromise and accept the committee’s findings and recommendations but the party has not communicated anything to him.

Hamutenya, in a written response to The Namibian, admitted that “there was an issue that arose following the RDP Youth League Convention in Keetmanshoop”.

“All grievances were submitted to the National Executive Committee, which duly considered them,” he said, adding that after careful consideration the party’s executive saw no cause to go against or interfere in the democratic process of the youth convention in Keetmanshoop.

He said that the results of the said convention were endorsed not only by the executive but also by the party’s convention, which is the highest decision-making body of the party.

“As far as the RDP leadership and the youth are concerned, this issue has now been laid to rest and we have moved forward as a united and cohesive group to focus on winning the general elections,” Hamutenya said.

He revealed that the Nambelela-led youth league held its first Central Committee meeting two weeks ago to elect office-bearers.

Von Wietersheim confirmed that he was part of a committee tasked to resolve the infighting among the youth, but said he was not at liberty to further comment on party matters.

Nehova also confirmed being part of the committee but refused to give details, while Kavekotora could not be reached for comment, as his phone was off.

The Namibian could not get a comment from Malumbano’s lawyer Jens Roland, as his mobile phone went unanswered yesterday.

Source : The Namibian