National Unity Democratic Organisation (NUDO) President, Asser Mbai, has accused the SWAPO Party of running a smear campaign against the opposition party by claiming that its members were leaving in droves to join the ruling party.
In an interview with the Windhoek Observer this week, Mbai said claims that some disgruntled members of his party were leaving in numbers to join SWAPO were “laughable and devoid of any truth.”
He said instead, NUDO has been welcoming many new members from other political parties.
“I am not aware of any noteworthy information of members leaving NUDO. However, what I can attest to is welcoming many new members from other political parties. Such implications are misleading missiles and political propaganda from the ruling party, SWAPO,” he said.
According to Mbai, his party, with two members in the 96 seat Parliament, currently has about 50,000 members.
“The members of this party are attracted by the manifesto of the party, the political ideology and the motion on Genocide that was tabled in Parliament by the same formidable trusted party. Therefore, NUDO members are loyal, stable and rarely migrate to other political parties,” he said.
He added that members have stayed firmly behind the party because of its fight for the recognition of traditional leaders and modernisation of sustainable agriculture and its articulation on youth and women empowerment, among other issues.
In August, The Namibian reported that about 200 NUDO members from Okamatapi had left the party to join SWAPO.
Mbai, however, maintained that his party enjoys tremendous support in major towns and constituencies such as Okakarara, Otjinene, Aminius, Omatako, Daures, Opuwo urban and rural, Gam and Epukiro.
Opposition parties have come under fire from political analysts who believe that they are mostly dormant, only coming to life during elections.
They have also been accused of being largely specific to one ethnic group and lacking any membership recruitment nationally, thereby not making any contributions or impact towards contemporary debates resulting in people losing faith in their abilities.
Last week, the Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) party, formerly known as DTA, called for a coalition of opposition parties in a bid to unseat the ruling party at the 2019 national elections.
NUDO was founded in 1964 under the leadership of the late Chief Hosea Kutako, its first president, the late Clemence Kapuuo, as well as the late Chief Kuaima Riruako.