UDF in U-Turn On Geingob Candidacy

THE Khorixas constituency councillor Sebastian !Gobs last Thursday told United Democratic Front supporters not to vote for Swapo presidential candidate Hage Geingob.

Speaking at a rally at Fransfontein settlement, !Gobs urged UDF supporters to not even bother entering the presidential booth.

“Just go and vote for the National Assembly. Walk pass the presidential voting booth,” !Gobs said.

The opposition party members were told that since UDF has not fielded a presidential candidate, the party members do not need to vote for the Swapo candidate.

!Gobs asked whether Swapo would have voted for UDF if the ruling party had not fielded a presidential candidate.

His call on UDF supporters not to vote for Geingob is in sharp contrast to the views of the party’s previous and current president.

Last year former UDF president Justus Garoeb urged members to vote for Geingob because he was a Damara.

“We decided to support Hage (Geingob) because he is Damara. The Ovambos have been leading this country for a very long time. It is now time for another tribe. This country belongs to all Namibians and not Ovambos alone,” Garoeb told a local daily then.

Garoeb also said the UDF leadership had informed its members to make their own choice although he would have preferred they vote for Geingob.

The former UDF president also said his party will not support Swapo in the National Assembly.

Garoeb accused Swapo of forgetting about the Damara-speaking community although the Damaras supported Swapo before independence.

At the UDF rally held at Swakopmund, Apius !Auxab indicated that Geingob will be a good president not because he is a Damara but because he has all the leadership qualities.

At the Fransfontein rally !Gobs accused Swapo of buying votes with drought relief food, which he said belonged to the government and not to Swapo.

Last month at Bergsig, Kunene region, local Swapo leaders accused the UDF of using drought relief food during its campaigns saying the maize meal belonged to Swapo and not to UDF.

At the same rally Simson Ochurub, Khorixas UDF youth league chairman told the youth not to vote for another party. “Do not leave UDF by voting for other parties. The UDF is our inheritance,” Ochurub said.

Most of the speakers urged UDF members not to allow the fire to die and instead support UDF even if there is no development.

The Namibian has learned from some high-ranking UDF officials that the party has been divided over fielding a presidential candidate since the majority of UDF members believe that there is no need to have a presidential candidate if there is already a Damara speaking presidential candidate from the ruling Swapo party.

“The majority of the UDF members did not want to field a presidential candidate since there is already a Damara speaking presidential candidate,” the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told The Namibian.

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Source : The Namibian