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Rukoro fights for Nudo’s presidency

Written by on April 25, 2024

… Kauandenge accuses former football bigwig of forging membership card

Former Namibia Football Association (NFA) secretary general Barry Rukoro says the secretary general of the National Unity Democratic Organisation (Nudo), Joseph Kauandenge, is trying to isolate him from the party.

This is because he feels threatened by him.

At the centre of the issue is Rukoro’s party membership.

Kauandenge has previously said Rukoro is not a card-carrying member of Nudo and cannot stand to be elected to leadership positions.

Kauandenge said the membership card presented by Rukoro, dated 18 November 2003 (which The Namibian has seen), may be forged, and that the party is conducting an investigation to determine its validity.

“So, from the leadership, our comment is that we are investigating and will present our findings to the national executive committee once we are done,” he said.

Rukoro, speaking to The Namibian yesterday, said Kauandenge has a conflict of interest and is using his position as secretary general to push him out of running for party president at Nudo’s congress from 12 to 14 July.

“The vetting to decide I am not a member was done by none other than Kauandenge, and that is where the conflict of interest issue comes in,” Rukoro said.

He said he would run for party president, whether Kauandenge or the leadership wants it or not.

Rukoro said if Kauandenge’s investigation into his membership status is not concluded within the next two weeks, he would seek legal advice.

He said he has spent the past weeks with members of the party, and realised there is a need for a change of leadership.

“We are going to present a case for all Nudo members, particularly those who are going to congress. We are going to make sure this does not continue this way.

Josef Kauandenge

He was accompanied by Nudo sympathiser Rirua Komeheke, who claimed there is a campaign to stop Rukoro from running for party president.
Komeheke said Rukoro’s soccer history has made him popular and would earn him votes.

“They are looking for ways to eliminate him from running for president. The majority of the Ovaherero nation will fall for him, because what he did in soccer made him very popular, and Nudo now needs somebody of his stature to resurrect it,” Komeheke said.

He said Rukoro’s campaign would lead ‘Project 50 000’, which aims to garner 50 000 votes for the party for the upcoming presidential and National Assembly elections slated for 27 November.

Komeheke said the majority of members would support Rukoro.

“The secretary general tried his best to eliminate his chances, but it was in vain. He said the database doesn’t have his name. It became clear that there is no database.

“As if that wasn’t enough, Barry has a membership card,” Komeheke said.


Meanwhile, Kauandenge said he is not threatened by Rukoro or any other candidate running for the party presidency.

He said he has been part of Nudo for years and worked closely with the late paramount chief Kuaima Riruako at the age of 24 when he became the party’s first secretary general in 2003.

“I have a solid support base within the party, and there is no way I can be threatened by Rukoro, a novice in party politics.

He said Rukoro would never be a match for him.

“He knows I am a political strategist, an astute politician, and above all, a force of nature when it comes to internal Nudo politics,” Kauandenge said.

Meanwhile, incumbent Nudo president Esther Muinjangue says while she won’t be standing for re-election as party president, she would remain a loyal member of the party.

“I have indicated that come our elective congress, I will step down. I will not stand for election as president. I am not greedy,” she said.

“I will remain a committed, loyal member of Nudo,” she says.

Vetaruhe Kandorozu, who was recalled from his position as regional councillor for the Okakarara constituency and expelled from the party in 2020, has also been welcomed back to the party.

Kandorozu says he is happy to be back and that he will attend the upcoming congress and stand as a presidential candidate.


Kauandenge yesterday said Nudo’s fourth national elective congress was rescheduled for 12 to 14 July to allow sufficient time to complete the restructuring process of the party’s branches.

He said electoral commissioners will be appointed during the national council preceding the congress to guarantee the integrity of the electoral process.

“Nomination and endorsement for positions will be received from the floor during the congress session, however, the congress organising committee and the secretary general’s office will compile a preliminary list of aspirants to make data available for vetting screening,” Kauandenge said.

He said in an effort to promote unity within the party, no aspirant leader would be allowed to organise individual public campaigns.
The party is also planning an event to commemorate the life of the late Riruako on 2 June.

The post Rukoro fights for Nudo’s presidency appeared first on The Namibian.

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