The Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) President Mchenry Venaani is still running for office, for another in 2024 to become a ruling party taking over from the current ruling party South West Africa people’s Organization (SWAPO).
PDM adopted its constitution in 2017 to give clear term limit for an office holder but limits the term to three years, hence, “am in the parametres of the law movement, and we are the only party with term limit” says Venaani. The ultimate fundamental objective of the PDM is to win power and to be in government. “If we are moving towards a coalition government, surely experience is needed to transition the movement,” says he.
The PDM leader led the party to gaining 16 seats during the 2019 National and Presidential elections to make it a strong force in Namibia. The puffed up (PDM) leader, concurs with other leaders, how hard and a struggle the road is to becoming a national president. He looks at the regional and global scenarios of other political parties in other countries, like of; current Zambian President, Hakainde Hichilema, who led for five terms before he became president; Nana Akufo-Addo Ghana’s current president who was an opposition leader for 15 years and a two-term president as well as Angela Merkel, Germany Chancellor, who led an opposition party for ten years and as a Chancellor for 16 years, 26 years all in total.
“This gives a clear example of struggles towards presidency, it is not easy,” he reckons.
There are speculations that the PDM parliamentarian, Vipuakuje Muharukua is interested in running for PDM president challenging Venaani. However, Muharukua could not be reached for comment. Political and social analyst, Ndumba Kamwenyah, described the process as a democratic right in a democracy country. Venaani followed the exact same process when he took over from the late Katuutire Kaura, through fairness and transparency and this gives alternatives to voters to vote for more than one person.
Ndumba concurs that, “it is going to be very hard to see another political party as a ruling party other than Swapo in ten years’ time, as some parties do not have well structured members across all regions, and some do not exist at all in certain regions such Zambezi and Kavango were it is vital for any party to win if it wants to be a ruling party as Swapo, and that it will take a drastic event to occur within Swapo to see any changes, but there lies the importance of democracy, a right to vote’. Infights are part of politics and it’s good to have debates and different opinions.”
Kamwenyah foresees Muharukua to be a great challenger to Venaani for his dynamics and vacuity and passion, but due to his unpopularity within the PDM and youth could just be the twist for Venaani to run another term.
From 2002-2010, 2014-2015, Venaani has been a member of the National Assembly of Namibia and at the time of his appointment in 2002, he was Namibia’s youngest MP. Venaani assumed office on the 9th September 2013 as leader of DTA, which was later changed to PDM to facilitate modernisation and to shed “colonial name” on the 4th November, 2017.