The Rally for Democracy and Progress is an opposition political party in Namibia. It was launched on 17th November 2007 under the leadership of the late Cde Hidipo Hamutenya and several senior longstanding, and leading former members of the ruling SWAPO Party. Some of these senior former SWAPO Party members were Cabinet ministers.
The RDP was established and born in response to our people’s deep longing for a vision, political direction and the rekindling of their hopes and aspiration for a better and prosperous future. The RDP is an inclusive mass based Political party, striving to address the broad concerns of the Namibian nation. Therefore, it is dedicated to the promotion of socio-economic well-being of the Namibian people and the creation of an all-inclusive Society.
As far as its espoused political ideology is concerned, the RDP can be described as a centre-left party and generally subscribes to the core social democratic principles. From the general and essential centre-leftist social democratic perspective, the RDP is committed to the widening of Namibia’s political space by strengthening the country’s multiparty democracy. The RDP subscribes to the principles of democracy, the rule of law, and pluralism, good governance, transparency, accountability, representative government and the protection of the Namibian Constitution.
Indeed, the RDP supports economic and social interventions, designed to promote and advance social justice, fairness and egalitarianism. It supports the arrangement of the State linked to a system of the Welfare State, where essential services are subsidised by the State. RDP’s acceptance of the general precepts, does not mean general and unqualified acceptance of unfettered capitalist economy. The role and space must be left to allow some form of State intervention.
This centre-leftish ideological space, the RDP populates, focuses on the concern and commitment to advocate policies aimed at reducing and curbing inequality, poverty reduction, and end oppression of the downtrodden. It expresses support for the ‘marginalised’, support for universally accessible public services, such as education, health care, provision for welfare programmes for the elderly, orphans, vulnerable children, and disability grants.
At its December 2008 First National Convention and inaugural National Conference, until his retirement in March 2015, the late Cde Hidipo Hamutenya was elected as RDP First President. Comrades Steve Bezuidenhout, Vice President, Jesaya Nyamu Secretary General) and Agnes Limbo, Deputy Secretary General, were also elected in the portfolios indicated above.
The RDP held its Second Ordinary National Convention on the 9th November 2013, at Ramatex Complex, Windhoek, for the election of the President, Vice President, Secretary General, Deputy Secretary General, and the Members of the Central Committee. The late Hidipo Hamutenya stood for re-election so did Cde Steve Bezuidenhout for the position of the Vice President. Both Cdes Hidipo Hamutenya and Steve Bezuidenhout were re-elected. Cde Jesaja Nyamu did not make himself available as Secretary General. At this, Second Ordinary National Convention, Cde Mike Kavekotora was elected as Secretary General. Cde Agnes Limbo too was re-elected as the Deputy Secretary General.
The retirement of the late Cde Hidipo Hamutenya in March 2015 caused the convocation of the Extra Ordinary National Convention, as directed by the RDP Constitution. The Extra Ordinary National Convention was held on July 2015, Windhoek Show Grounds, Windhoek. Five RDP members offered their candidacy for the vacant position of the President. The election process resulted in a run-off between Cdes Jeremia Nambinga and Kandy Nehova. Cde Nambinga garnered significant number of votes in the run-off, and was duly elected as the President of the RDP.