HH refuses blame for RDP's weak polls showing

14 Feb 2015 13:50pm

WINDHOEK, 14 FEB (NAMPA) – The Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP) president, Hidipo Hamutenya, has refused claims that he was the reason behind the party's dismal showing at the last national elections.
After numerous calls for him to step down, the RDP president said he will not allow himself to be projected as the reason behind the poor performance of the party.
He said this during the RDP's central committee meeting at Greiters Center outside Windhoek on Saturday.
Calls for Hamutenya to step down come after the party's weak performance during last year's November general elections, which saw the party losing the official opposition spot to the DTA.
DTA obtained 42 933 votes - the second most votes, in the National Assembly (NA) election and dethroned RDP off its official opposition status.
RDP only managed 31 372 votes, ending third overall.
“Apparently, a good number of you sought to de-campaign the RDP presidential candidate. You wanted to project Hidipo Hamutenya as the cause or main reason for the poor performances despite the fact he had put in more than N.dollars 100 000 of his own personal money into the campaign,” said Hamutenya.
He further explained that he travel the length and breadth of the country to campaign for the party in various regions such as Ohangwena, Omaheke, //Karas, Kavango, Erongo and Zambezi regions, while he also did 'foot soldier' campaign in the Khomas region.
“Is this not ridiculous to lay the blame of the failure to win at the door of the presidential candidate? Is this a serious blame? Or just a smoke screen of their own failures to campaign for the party?” he added.
The RDP president said that those who were nominated by the RDP failed to campaign aggressively for the party, adding that they went to their villages and towns and apparently waited for the party's presidential candidate to campaign for them.
“This was an illusion of hope and irresponsible political behavior. We should in the future not have such naïve critical thinking,” he emphasised.
Hamutenya explained that it has become increasingly clear that there is no common direction, and in many cases petty squabbles tend to overshadow the work that was supposed to be done to move forward.
He said the party performed poorly in the just ended presidential elections due to poor organisation and planning, and in many cases lack of commitments amongst party leaders.
“RDP is not a lost cause, on the contrary - we are an important component of the political landscape of this country.
“We need to put our shoulders to the grinding stone and work hard to regain our loses and win the next elections,” he said.
The RDP president said that the party must continue to address issues that are affecting Namibians such as land, unemployment, housing, affordable and quality health care, education and poverty eradication.
He urged his party leaders not to under-estimate the voices of the youth in both the party and in the country, saying that they are the future and and the majority in terms of demographics.