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'Parliament not a priority for AR'

AFFIRMATIVE Repositioning (AR) is first putting its systems and structures in place before considering throwing its hat in the ring for parliamentary elections.This is the view of the movement's interim leader Job Amupanda when asked about plans of the movement after it adopted its constitution over the weekend at Walvis Bay.Amupanda admitted that those sentiments have come up within the movement.“We are trying to analyse whether they are externally sponsored or they are domestically grown,” he said.According to Amupanda, the movement will no longer listen to what people say they must do but they will determine their own destiny.“One thing that we don't want to lose as activists is our character and testicular fortitude. We must be able to tell people where to get off.“We are self-defining, self-directing and self-respecting. Whatever it is that we are going to do, it is not because people say this is what we must do,” he said.Amupanda is of the opinion that people are asking about parliament because the country needs direction, which he believes only AR can give.He said AR is already in a position of giving that direction outside parliament, referring to the projects that he believes came about because of AR. These include the halting of the construction of a new parliament building, the mass urban land servicing, and removal of the minister of defence Peter Vilho. Amupanda believes these are some of the successes of the movement.“We are not concerned about taking over power, we are already in power in the way we operate. What is the purpose of going to parliament if we already determine what should happen? If we say we want this to be done by Friday, it is going to be done. None of those people who are in parliament or cabinet can do the same,” said Amupanda.Asked about expanding their local authority footprint, the movement's interim leader for the Erongo region, Knowledge Ipinge, said it would be up to the community structures.AR is registered as an organisation to participate in the local authority elections in Windhoek, Swakopmund and Walvis Bay.The community structure is the new way of joining AR, according to its constitution.“That decision solely lies with those on the ground. It makes no sense that the national executive council makes the decision. Where do they derive the information from,” questioned Ipinge.He also denied that the movement's membership database drive was aimed at gathering signatures for the AR to register as a political movement with the Electoral Commission of Namibia.In 2021, AR started a membership registration campaign as part of its community forum establishment.“The database was part of our RIF (re-organisation, institutionalisation and formalisation) programme that is mainly why it was introduced. ECN has its own process on how one should collect signatures, which is not through a database because they don't have an automated system in that regard,” said Ipinge.

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