The man regarded as Namibia’s first ever youngest parliamentarian, McHenry Venaani of the Democratic Turntable Alliance (DTA) of Namibia has vowed that he has not sunk into political oblivion and that he is ready to contest for party presidency in the next DTA elections.
Venaani, the DTA of Namibia secretary general who entered parliament in 2003, however, said he still has some political mileage left in him.
“I am not down and out but I do admit that as a party, we have lost the cutting edge that we used to have and neither do I believe that opposition politics is doing enough to keep the Government on its toes to maintain accountability.
“The problem is that most of our opposition politicians lack ambition. Of course, if for most of them including me being in the Parliament is enough, then we are doing disservice to our people,” he said.
Venaani, who once challenged his boss, Katuutire Kaura, for the party’s presidency in 2005 said he still has the same ambition.
“I am ever ready to contest for even a bigger position in the party and that includes the presidential post. I feel the party has not done enough to restructure and refresh its ideas. This has been the major reason why we have failed to give Swapo the challenge we used to,” he contended.
Venaani added that he stands for transformation and the infusion of new ideas and blood in the party but obviously, issues of restructuring and change are not conclusively received by people who believe that it means coming up with a new a leader.
The DTA of Namibia’s elective congress is slated for early next year at a date yet to be determined.
Quizzed on whether he remains as one of the few young politicians who come and make an instant impact in the Parliament and subsequently sink into political oblivion, Venaani had other opinions.
“I have always been into politics and of course, I miss being in Parliament and in most cases, you can see most of the debates taking centre stage in the Legislative House do not really deal with the concerns of the people on the street.
“Things have changed internationally and worldwide. People are moving towards emancipation of women and youth, even in developing countries. As a country, we are still far off from catching up on such issues,” he asserted.
Venaani said most opposition politicians are as good as “sitting ducks” in Parliament and that the death of debate was not as a result of his absence from the August House but a mere lack of understanding of basic things that affect the ordinary man on the street.
“I will bounce back sooner rather than later. I have only been focusing on other issues within our party and with time, I will definitely be there. Within DTA of Namibia, we have been vocal enough on national issues and I do not necessarily have to be in Parliament to practice my politics,” said Venaani adding that, “If the political parties in Namibia want to create a culture of emancipation and growth, then I do agree with what most people are saying that we need to create a passage for the youth to occupy influential positions.”
His call for youth emancipation and empowerment also comes at the back of an invigorated call by the Swapo Youth League steered by its Secretary General, Elijah Ngurare that the country should now start opening opportunities for the youth in Government and in commanding positions elsewhere.
Venaani, however, believes that President Pohamba has done significant contributions in improving both the economy of the country and its future during his tenure in the highest office.
According to Venaani, fragmentation in the Namibian opposition political party structures has also played a negative role in making most opposition parties . . . just that; opposition politicians.
“I have always been the champion of uniting opposition parties but somehow, it just does not really make sense today as opposition politicians still go their separate ways. If opposition parties had the same agenda, then it would be easy to challenge the ruling party but that is not happening,” he concluded.