Towards the end of March 2012, we were showered with the news that the President of the Namibia Democratic Movement for Change (NDMC), Frans Mikub Goagoseb, had written a letter to the Director of the Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN), Moses Ndjarakana, to deregister the NDMC as a political party.
We are also made aware that the NDMC principal had written another letter to the High Court of Namibia to delink the party he founded from the parties challenging the outcome of the 2009 election result. Goagoseb charged that his party was "misinformed, ill-advised and misled by Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP) representatives".
He contended that the only way for his supporters to access development is from inside SWAPO, hence bringing his supporters to the ruling party.
This news would, of course, be received with ululation by SWAPO and its membership.
Goagoseb supporters will be preparing themselves for their ascendance to political relevance in our politics. Apart from the jovial reception by SWAPO and NDMC supporters, this news will also place the Namibian intelligentsia to work. These observers of our politics are already looking at the possible implication of this news.
This writer, the Political Superintendent-General, is also placing the news into perspective.
Our focus today will be on the letter Goagoseb wrote to the High Court. What does it mean, for our politics, when the NDMC wrote to the Court that it was "misinformed, ill-advised and misled by Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP) representatives"? This is our concern today.
As it may be remembered, NDMC was part of the political parties that challenged the outcome of the 2009 Presidential and National Assembly elections. Let us recollect that case.
After the announcement of the 2009 Presidential and National Assembly election results, some opposition political parties, led by the Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP), challenged the election result in the High Court.
The political parties were Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP), United Democratic Front of Namibia (UDF), Democratic Turnhalle Alliance (DTA), Congress of Democrats (CoD), Republican Party (RP), All People's Party (APP), National Unity Democratic Organisation (NUDO), Namibia Democratic Movement for Change (NDMC) and the Democratic Party of Namibia (DPN).
The parties had asked the court to set aside the National Assembly and Presidential Elections and declare them null and void.
On 4 March 2010, High Court Judge President Petrus Damaseb and Judge Collins Parker dismissed the case on technical grounds. The parties appealed the High Court ruling at the Supreme Court.
On 6 September, 2010, the Supreme Court overturned the ruling and referred the case back to the High Court.
When it returned to the High Court, it was again dismissed on the basis that the challenge lacked concrete evidence supporting the charge of irregularities and rigging that led to SWAPO's electoral victory.
Judge President Damaseb and Judge Parker could be heard, as we read, inculcating that "we remind ourselves and the applicants that this is a court of law: Courts work on proven facts and not on conjecture, innuendo and unsubstantiated conspiracy theories."
ECN also got its fair share of the judicial tongues. The words of the two Judges were, as reported, that the election challenge aroused "fundamental issues about electoral governance in this country and the need to run electoral affairs in a manner that avoids unnecessary suspicion fuelled by confusion created by those who run elections".
The parties again launched another appeal with the Supreme Court. That is where we are at present. We await the Judges to provide the verdict at the time of their liking it would appear.
This is not the first time, in our democracy, that elections are being challenged before the court of law. Those with good memory may recall that the DTA had challenged, unsuccessfully, the 1994 elections. The COD did the same following the 2004 elections.
The recount was ordered - the results were the same.
The raison d'être of recollecting these happenings was not just for the ignorant to be aware. It is also for a necessary argument that we are about to build. The NDMC was part of the challenge.
In fact, the court papers record it as the 8th Appellant and its leader Frans Mikub Goagoseb the 17th Appellant. What we are waiting for now is the verdict. As such, it may appear to some that the news of the NDMC factor may be inconsequential in light of the above. If this is to find ground, those that know must inform us whether the learned Judges would rule in favour of the complainant with strong evidence that complainant collective is arrested by a split, disagreement and even a charge of misinformation, ill-advice and misleading.
Others may stretch as far as wondering if there will be anyone joining the path taken by the NDMC. Considering that there is no appeal after the Supreme Court, the NDMC factor presents an interesting case as far as this case is concerned.
It would be nice if we can obtain an analysis from those in the field having to do with the court. After all, the task of observers of politics is to bring difficult questions before public discourse; provide a finished perspective or allow others with intimate knowledge to digest further.
'Shaamonathana omuti nomuti' - We shall meet again
Kamati kaTate is a Community Mobilizer whose area of interest is observing Politics as both an art of the possible and as a medium of distribution of resources as to who gets what, when, where and how. firstname.lastname@example.org
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