Muharukua tired of PDM trivial political issues

Vipua Muharukua

… MP resigns from party, National Assembly

Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) politician Vipua Muharukua has walked away from the party and parliarment citing “trivial” internal party problems.

He yesterday said he was also looking for greener pastures.

“PDM internal stuff is really trivial as far as I’m concerned. My reason was provided to the PDM and the parliament,” he said.

PDM leader McHenry Venaani yesterday denied allegations of bad blood between him and Muharukua.
“My friend [and] I last spoke in parliament last week … To say we haven’t spoken in years is a lie … I have attended many meetings in which we have exchanged ideas,” he said.

Venaani labelled the move as sudden, considering Muharukua was set to contest against him at the party’s elective congress.
“I cannot speculate on what led to a personal decision why someone who was upbeat three months ago to challenge the party’s main seat would suddenly have no conviction to continue,” he said.

“It’s safe to say politics is a game of strategy and longevity. You don’t reap fruits fast and easy,” Venaani said.

Venaani said the party has seen major resignations in the past, but “few leaders have resigned and become success stories across party lines”.

He does foresee the party being “massively impacted by his [Muharukua’s] departure”.
Venaani said he welcomes challengers.

“I enjoy more than 80% support of the movement – fact, not fiction. Those who say I must go, let’s test their power at the congress. Why do we skip congress? The outcome is known,” he said.


PDM secretary general Manual Ngaringombe confirmed Muharukua’s resignation yesterday.

“Yes, we are aware. He stated personal convictions as the reason for his resignation,” he said.

The party is set to have its elective congress later this year, pushing for Venaani to be re-elected as PDM president.

The Namibian reported last week that some leaders in the PDM are allegedly pushing for Venaani to retain his position as president uncontested during the upcoming congress.

Muharukua, who was seen as a rising star in the party to challenge Venaani, last week said he was not interested in the top position.
“I am not interested in any conversation about the party congress and whether the party president position is going to be contested or not, it’s immaterial to me,” Muharukua said yesterday.

Venaani has said he would stand to be re-elected at this year’s elective congress.

If re-elected at the upcoming congress, that will be Venaani’s last term as PDM president as the party constitution only allows the president to serve for three terms.

Venaani, however, seems to be in disagreement with this interpretation.

“Most people confuse presidential limits of states to political parties, which are not the same.

“National term limits are meant for heads of state to leave office, whereas at parties leaders must be given the chance and time to wrestle power of statehood,” he said.

Venaani said as a “constitutionalist” he would not tamper with extending his term limits beyond the provision of the PDM’s constitution.
Ngaringombe said this process would not be hindered by Muharukua’s resignation.

“The party is an institution led by its systems and processes. Hence, that remains intact, and the movement will do all of its activities, including the upcoming congress following its constitutional provisions,” he said.

The secretary general said he has no record of the party standing in the way of Muharukua’s presidential ambitions.

“There are no records on my table that have suggested or prevented Vipua from contesting for the PDM presidency or any other position within the party. The PDM was founded on democratic principles and will remain as such,” he said.


A party source yesterday said the environment within the party is toxic.

He said a senior party leader does not want young members of parliament to travel or belong to the parliamentary committee of their own choice.

“She reports every small thing to Venaani,” the source said.

The source said Muharukua was also promised to lead the party, but this never happened. The promise was allegedly made when the party was still the Democratic Turnhalle Alliance.

“Venaani seems not likely to relinquish power any time soon. Muharukua is always accused of everything. We stand to lose more members though. He and his father are very strong in the Kunene,” the source said.

Political analyst Rui Tyitende says it is an open secret that Muharukua and Venaani had a strained relationship before and after his removal as chief PDM whip in the National Assembly.

Muharukua last February lost his chief whip position to Elma Dienda.

“What perhaps broke the camel’s back was when Vipua decided to support Mike Kavekotora, also from Kaokoland, to be the paramount chief of the Ovaherero Traditional Authority, not Venaani,” Tyitende says.

He says Muharukua’s ambition to unseat Venaani as party president has created a rift in the party, with some young leaders taking sides.

“Once again, it proves that opposition parties are not mature enough to rise above their differences in the interest of their party and constituents,” he says.

Tyitende says unadulterated political ambition has led to the demise of many political parties and social movements, as the untamed desire to be at the top trumps organisation unity and success.

“The key question is: Now that he has resigned, will he mobilise people from the Kunene in particular, not to vote for the PDM? Will he join another political party? Only time will tell,” he says.

The party’s Oshana region coordinator, Teofilus Kamati, is next on the party’s parliamentary list.

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