The politics of sour grapes

14 August 2015

The official opposition party DTA has been in the news lately for all the wrong reasons following the five-year suspension handed to the party’s Secretary General Vinsent Kanyetu.

Kanyetu was suspended together with the Kavango West Regional Coordinator Boniface Kashera (five years) and the Kavango East Regional Coordinator Reinhilde Kudumo who was suspended for six months.

The suspension of the trio has brought the name of the party into disrepute with the motor mouthed Kanyetu refusing to go down quietly.

Kanyetu, who in our opinion, should be facing criminal charges for selling party property without authorization, has made it his mission to go down with the party by making a number of allegations against DTA leader McHenry Venaani.

But that is predictable from a man who abused and tried to manipulate his position in the party for his personal gain, and got caught.

The DTA should be commended for the way it has handled the suspension. Despite Kanyetu’s  utterances in the media prior to his suspension, he together with his co-accused was given a fair hearing, and was handed a suspension letter that  clearly stated the duration of his suspension unlike the circus we saw in another party recently.

Despite Kanyetu’s utterances and unsubstantiated allegations, it is important to note that Venaani has done reasonably well since taking over the leadership of the party in 2013.

His stance on corruption, as demonstrated by the Kanyetu case, is to be emulated. The party could have swept the case under the carpet leaving Kanyetu, who was threatening to walk away with 250 members, untouched.

But as a principled leader, Venaani has shown that corruption should not be condoned even at the expense of losing supporters and his friendship with Kanyetu.

“If they are his family members, it is his choice but if there is one thing I will never allow, it is to allow a corrupt organisation whereby just because you have a following you must steal from the party,” he was quoted in the media as saying.

This says a lot about his personality, principles and character as a national leader.

The decision by the party leadership to buy cars for its 14 regional coordinators should also be applauded. 

The party came under a lot of criticism for “wasting tax payers’ money” by buying the cars, but any party that wants to do well in the regions should ensure that its foot soldiers are visible and mobile.

At least the party has done something tangible with the money and it did not vanish into thin air.

The DTA, under the leadership of Venaani, is redefining opposition politics in this country, and it is something that can only strengthen our democratic institutions.



The Windhoek Observer is an English-language weekly newspaper, published in Namibia by Paragon Investment Holding. It is the country's oldest and largest circulating weekly.

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