UDF to discuss parliament seats

Hendrik Gaobaeb

The United Democratic Front (UDF) is set to discuss the party’s parliamentary seats after outgoing president Apius Auchab and vice president Dudu Murorua failed to retain their positions in the party structure.

The two were vying for the party’s top position at its elective congress at Swakopmund over the weekend.

They lost to Sesfontentein constituency councillor and Kunene Regional Council chairperson Hendrik Gaobaeb.

“Consultations are underway regarding the party’s two parliamentary seats and other concerns raised during the congress,” party spokesperson Mabasen /Narib said in a statement issued yesterday.

Auchab has been the party’s representative in the National Assembly (NA) since 2015, and Murorua has been part of the parliament since 1998. Narib said the party’s former treasurer will also present financial reports, which were a bone of contention at the just-ended congress.

“A non-elective congress will be convened to discuss the party’s growth and other pertinent matters. A policy conference platform will also be established to address various party policies, fostering smooth operational processes,” he said.

/Narib said the party is on the verge of a transformative era and the incoming leadership faces a formidable task in restoring faith and trust among its members.

Gaobaeb in his acceptance message called for unity. “Business as usual is not an option. Transparency and accountability must govern the party,” he said.

Mabaseb !Narib


Auchab on Tuesday told Desert Radio “all is well” at the party.

“We elected a new leadership [and] history has been rewritten,” he said.

Shedding light on why the party’s old guard was dissolved prior to the elections and no accountability reports were tabled, he said this was to enable them to participate in the elections. “When it is an elective congress, the elections take centre stage rather than reports from various secretariats,” Auchab said. He rubbished claims that all is not well within the party.

“If everybody was not happy, how is it possible that we spent two and a half days at congress, elected a new leadership and smoothly transitioned the power to this new leadership?” he asked.

Party insiders maintained that the congress has been long overdue and fingered financial constraints as having been a significant contributing factor to the delay in convening the gathering.


Auchab said it was on his watch that the party’s youth, women and elder leagues came into existence. He said going forward, he will not contest for any leadership position in the party, but will provide advice and assistance whenever he is called on.

“I am entering political retirement,” he said.

Daniel Tsaneb


Political analyst Rui Tytende, who also attended the congress, says it highlighted the party’s organisational shortcomings and lack of policy direction.

“They were experimenting with a pivotal exercise in which political parties and the election of their leadership had become the major organising principle of modern politics,” he says. Tyitende says the congress outcome conveyed a vote of no confidence in Auchab’s leadership.

Other members of the new UDF structure are Nico Somaeb as vice president, Daniel Tsaneb as secretary general, Davey van Wyk as vice secretary general, Seriane Mukuta as treasurer, Eberth Gariseb as vice treasurer, Mabasen Narib as information secretary, and Moritz Gaingob as national organiser.

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