By: Andrew Kathindi
The secretary-general of (National Unity Democratic Organisation) NUDO and convener of the City coalition Joseph Kauandenge says that a meeting scheduled to take place on Monday morning regarding the coalition in the City of Windhoek did not happen.
This comes as the election and inauguration of the 2021/2022 political office bearers in the City of Windhoek, including a potential new mayor, is scheduled for Wednesday afternoon at the council chambers.
Kauandenge said the coalition partners did not manage to sit as they had planned to iron out a number of issues regarding the broken coalition as Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) president McHenry Venaani and Independent Patriots for Change (IPC) leader Dr Panduleni Itula.
He said that the principals of the coalition are attempting to reconvene on Wednesday morning. However, the coalition can be salvaged at this point.
“We are not getting a positive light from IPC since the last time we spoke, but I think it will be premature for me to say anything now, whether they will be coming to the meeting or not. My anticipation and thoughts are that it’s going to be very tough to keep this coalition intact moving forward,” he told The Villager.
Quizzed on whether he would be open to getting into bed with Swapo should the meeting scheduled for Tuesday yield no results, he said, “Not at all. It will be a sad day if the opposition cannot continue to work as a coalition. This is a test for the opposition to show that they can work better than the Swapo Party. If we cannot even manage to run s city like Windhoek as the opposition, I wonder whether the voters will forgive us come 2024.”
He, however, said this is NUDO’s position and was unsure what choices the other coalition partners were thinking.
“How will we go back to the voters and say ‘vote for us, we’ll do better,’ if we are given an opportunity now, and we are failing. It’s a catch 22. But there’s no way, especially from the side of NUDO, that we’ll be working with Swapo in a coalition form or set-up.”
He said if the coalition fails to work out their grievances ahead of the elections tomorrow, it will be up to the individual parties to decide what they will do.
“If that doesn’t happen, then we’ll be at a stalemate. Suppose the coalition cannot get the eight to form a coalition. In that case, we’ll have a hanged city council management where you will have opposition, those that manage to make it into the management committee dominating the management. Still, when the decisions are brought to council, you have a problem where the majority in the council might outvote many of those decisions and send them back.”
Kauandenge said that the City of Windhoek could descend into chaos without a coalition, affecting service delivery.
“You will have chaos and anarchy within the city of Windhoek, and it will hamper any progress whatsoever. One will not want that to happen, but it seems to me we are heading in that direction.”
The coalition partners NUDO, PDM and Affirmative repositioning (AR) had previously called out IPC leader Dr Itula for acting without consulting them.