RDP forced to pay N$400,000 to Nambinga

01 November 2019 Author   Jeremiah Ndjoze

The perpetual battle between the Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP) and its embattled former leader, Jeremiah Nambinga, which landed in the courts about two years ago, could be put to rest, if the political outfit settles an amount of N$400,000 in legal and other fees owed to Nambinga.  

The fracas almost took a turn for the worse, recently, when the party’s office furniture and a vehicle – Ford Ikon with plate number N81522W – were attached by the Deputy Sheriff of the High Court and were set for auction on the 30th of November 2019.  Nambinga approached the High Court in November 2017 and the judgment in the case was delivered in his favour on the 20th of April 2018.  Settlement of the funds awarded has been pending.
This week, RDP’s President, Mike Kavekotora, told this newspaper that the party has reached a payment settlement agreement with Nambinga and that the first disbursement of the funds was disbursed about two weeks ago.
“We agreed to settle the amount of N$400,000 in three installments and the first N$100,000 was paid out on the 24th of October 2019,” Kavekotora said promising to furnish this newspaper with the prove of payment if need be. 
According to Kavekotora, the issue is that Nambinga wanted to go to Parliament without exhausting all party procedures, which entails adhering to the party’s Parliamentary list. As such, a vote of no confidence in Nambinga was instituted by the party’s executive committee. 
“He however continued holding divisive clandestine meetings until the matter eventually reached the Courts,” Kavekotora said.  
Nambinga could not be reached for comment.
According to court documents seen by this newspaper, Nambinga approached the courts on the ground that the decision to pass a vote of no confidence, against him, by the party was taken without having been an item on the agenda of the National Executive Committee meeting of 12 August 2017 and without the applicant being given adequate notice to prepare for and to properly address the issue. He furthermore contended that he was not given a hearing before the decision was taken. 
Kavekotora, this week, maintained that it is difficult for a decision such as a vote of no confidence to be an agenda point of any meeting, because, ‘it is normally the outcome of the meeting and not premeditated.’  
Nambinga further averted, in court documents, that the decision to pass a vote of no confidence in him was taken, contrary to the provisions of Article 19 of the RDP constitution.  This provision requires not only that application of any disciplinary sanction be preceded by a prudent and meticulous investigation, but also that the fundamental objective of application of any sanction is education of RDP cadres aiming at strengthening or reinforcing the RDP unity.
Kavekotora and his team, on the other hand, did not refute the substance of Nambinga’s accusations.  Rather, they believe that internal conflict resolution steps should have been taken before the matter ended up in the courts.
Kavekotora in court documents said that, “to resort to Court without first exhausting the domestic remedies provided for in the RDP constitution is not competent.”
In his judgment, High Court Judge Shafimana Ueitele, who presided over the case held that the mere fact that a statute creates an internal remedy does not imply that access to court is prohibited pending the exhaustion of that remedy.
The judge further maintained that, there is nothing in the language of the RDP‘s constitution that prohibits a member from approaching a court if that member is aggrieved by a decision of one of the organs of the party, and that since there is no general principle at common-law that an aggrieved person may not go to court while there is hope of extrajudicial redress, the court is of the view that the applicant was, entitled to approach the High Court for relief.
“The decision to adopt a motion of no confidence in the applicant was a clear breach of the contractual terms between the applicant (Nambinga) and first respondent (RDP) and can therefore not be allowed to stand,” Ueitele maintained.
The national executive committee members that Nambinga brought under the hammer include Kavekotora, former RDP vice president Steve Bezuidenhout and RDP Member of Parliament Agnes Limbo. Former RDP MPs Kandy Nehova and Peter Naholo were also cited as respondents in the case. 
Nambinga resigned from the Swapo party in November 2007, after being informally accused of being an ‘agent of imperialism’ at a SWAPO party conference. In March 2008, Nambinga joined the newly formed Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP). In August 2018 Nambinga resigned from the RDP, reportedly, vowing not to rejoin Swapo.

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