Swapo, Nudo Face Off in Omaheke

THE tug-of-war between the Swapo-Party and National Unity Democratic Organisation (Nudo) over political dominance in the Omaheke Region continues as the November general elections draw closer.

Swapo has been aggressively taking the campaign for new members to the Omaheke Region’s Otjinene and Aminuis constituencies – the only two constituencies in the opposition’s hands in the Omaheke Region.

Given its good showing in the remaining five constituencies, the Swapo-Party has continuously used its g legion of regional leaders to bring Aminuis and Otjinene under Swapo leadership.

Nudo, on the other hand, has remained steadfast and shown that it enjoys the lion’s share of support in both these constituencies by never losing an election there since Independence in 1990.

Last year, Nudo reacted to Swapo Central committee member, Ngarikutuke Tjiriange’s comments that Swapo will take Aminuis during this year’s elections by stating that such ambition will remain “a pipe dream”.

Tjiriange made the statement during a ground-breaking ceremony of a new party office at Aminuis.

In a media statement released shortly thereafter Sagarias Komeheke, the Nudo Aminuis branch secretary for information, said Nudo will not sit idle and watch Aminuis fall to the ruling party.

He said the party’s ‘machinery’ is in top gear mobilising its members to come en masse to the ballot come 2014 in order to ensure that the Swapo-Party’s intention to claim the constituency becomes a pipe dream.

But on Saturday, Swapo took the competition to the doorstep of its main rival by receiving close to 500 members from opposition parties. The new members were drawn from Otjombinde, Kalahari and Aminuis.

Given the battle for power over Otjinene and Aminuis between the two regional political giants, Swapo might have however done little to dent Nudo’s following in the Omaheke Region as it was evident that most of the new members on Saturday came from the Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP).

But Swapo national leadership led by secretary-general Nangolo Mbumba and the chairperson of national leaders assigned to the Omaheke Region, Immanuel Ngatjizeko is confident that the new members will turn the tables on Nudo for them.

The battle for political dominance has also hinged on the need for development in the entire Omaheke Region, with many residents here still living in abject poverty despite the country’s political gains.

The recent upgrading of the Gobabis-Otjinene road to bitumen standard, and the pending upgrading of the Gobabis-Aminuis road appeared to have restored the confidence of the electorate in the ruling party.

The upgrade, however, also appears to have given political mileage to Nudo, given that it runs these two constituencies.

As the race to the finish line in the November general elections continues, both Nudo and Swapo are yet to officially launch their election campaigns in the Omaheke Region – preferring to wait for the announcement of the election date.

Source : The Namibian