27 Aug 2014 16:50pm
OTJINENE, 27 AUG (NAMPA) - The National Unity Democratic Organisation (Nudo) has set its sights firmly on winning the Otjinene local authority election as a gift to its departed leader, Paramount Chief Kuaima Riruako.
Riruako, who spent many years at the helm of the opposition party as its President, died on 02 June in a Windhoek hospital after a long illness.
His charismatic leadership style, which people often described as confrontational or bold, held Nudo together for over a decade since he hauled the party out of the DTA alliance.
The Otjinene local authority election, which takes place this Friday, will be Nudo's first major test since Riruako's passing.
Nudo President Asser Mbai told throngs of supporters and party members at Otjinene on Tuesday that Nudo will take all five seats at Otjinene in Riruako's honour.
Mbai said retaining supremacy at Otjinene will be a befitting tribute to Riruako and acting Chief Tumbee Tjombe, who also died about a month after Riruakos passing.
I call upon all of you to go out and vote for Nudo on Friday, as that will be the biggest gift and token of appreciation that we can give to our late President Dr. Kuaima Riruako and our former Vice-President Tumbee Tjombe, he urged.
Mbai also used the opportunity to call for peaceful elections.
I am here to bring you a message of unity, love and peace. To my comrades in Nudo, allow me to call on you to have peaceful elections and let the democratic process take its course, he said.
Four political parties the Swapo Party, DTA of Namibia, Nudo and Swanu of Namibia have registered to take part in the local authority election.
The election was necessitated by Otjinene's proclamation as a town, and will elect members to steer Otjinene's first town council.
Each party is expected to field five candidates to head the town council.
Otjinene is the main economic centre in the Otjinene Constituency of the Omaheke Region.
Although a fierce contest is expected at the ballots, the campaign period has been peaceful with no reports of violence and intimidation.
If previous elections in Otjinene are anything to go by, the main battle for dominance is set to be between Nudo and Swapo, both of which have shown political muscle in this part of the country during past regional councils elections.
While Nudo has won every election in Otjinene since Independence in 1990, Swapo has given the party a good run for its money - coming a narrow second in many elections.
Swanu, which has previously fared relatively well in the Omaheke Region will be hoping to redeem itself after losing the Otjombinde Constituency to Swapo in the country's last regional councils elections.
DTA also had some relatively good showing in Otjinene in past elections, largely owing to the growing support base of people who remained with the party when Nudo pulled out of the alliance.