Rehoboth Baster Community

Parties fight for soul of Rehoboth

Published by Apr 28, 2010

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The following article was published by NewEraWINDHOEK – The Rehoboth Democratic Movement (Reho D.M.) has denied allegations that the party wants to bring about an “independent republic of Rehoboth”, saying it is a united front across political, cultural and traditional boundaries.

It said the party intends to unite voters who for 20 years have not yet tasted the fruits of independence, and to provide them with an independent voice.

The refutation came after Swapo MP Theo Diergaardt charged that the organisation is tribally bound and stands for self-governance.

It further said the shortened version of the party is not RDM, as asserted by Diergaardt, but in fact the Reho D.M.

The party in a statement said Diergaardt deliberately tries to deceive Rehoboth residents and stir up unrest.“If the movement were a tribal organisation, the Electoral Commission of Namibia would not have accepted its application for registration,” a statement sent by the Reho D.M. said.

The statement said one of its members, Bismarck van Wyk, had stated his commitment to the Nama and Damara residents of Rehoboth in his manifesto for the election of captain 20 years ago.

It said Van Wyk’s position has remained unchanged, and that Nama and Damara speakers are also members of the Reho D.M.

The party said corruption at the town council and the inability of the Ministry of Regional and Local Government, Housing and Rural Development and the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) to deal with it has resulted in the Swapo Party losing the Rehoboth Urban West Constituency to the Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP).

It said the last electoral result at the constituency is likely to influence the next regional council and local authority elections this November.

The Reho D.M. charged that the town is still without its railway from Bahnhof to Rehoboth, and neither have there been any developments regarding the anticipated glass and cement factories as was reportedly promised by the Swapo Party in its 2003 election campaigning.

“Nothing came of the thousands of jobs promised,” it said, and asked what has happened to the petition that requested that debt on low-cost housing be written off.

It said Diergaardt’s reluctance to accept the existence of the Reho D.M. in a democratic dispensation means that Diergaardt does not champion democratic values.

Diergaardt at a meeting with community members said the Swapo Party-led local authority had over the last five years pumped in N$68 million for the development of Rehoboth.

He told the meetings that the State has recognised Captain John McNab – who is a member of the Reho D.M. – as a traditional leader, and that an offer for a piece of land for McNab and his council were made as recognition of his leadership.

The Rehoboth Ecumenical Council called upon McNab and his council to strive for unity and cooperate with Government and refrain from their attempts to take the Rehoboth land issue to court.