Opposition parties leaving nothing to chance


Windhoek – Opposition parties have stepped up campaigns with the common objective of breaking the ruling party Swapo stranglehold on Namibian politics, three weeks ahead of the Presidential and National Assembly elections scheduled for November 28.

The two main opposition parties, the DTA of Namibia and the Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP), last weekend held rallies in Omusati and Oshana regions, the traditional support base of the Swapo Party.

While the ruling party is running its campaigns on government accomplishments for the past two decades, the opposition is having a torrid time attracting the electorate with some leaders making tall promises such as national minimum wage, providing land and building affordable houses as well as creating employment for the multitude of jobless youths.

While addressing his party followers at Oshakati in the Oshana region last week Saturday, DTA of Namibia presidential candidate, McHenry Venaani reiterated his resolve to introduce a safety net for single mothers with more than one child; increase old-age monthly grant from R650 to R1 500 and provide free fences to poor farmers.

Apart from that the vibrant youthful politician has issued a veiled threat that once his party is voted into power, it will deport all unskilled Chinese labourers, who are doing menial jobs such truck driving, bricklaying, and pushing wheelbarrows while, according to him, up to 80 percent of the country’s youth is unemployed. 

The DTA leader further promised to modernise the unequal property regimes in rural areas in order to give every Namibian an opportunity to own a ‘piece of Namibia’.

“We will provide better housing for our citizenry through developing of two-leg approach resettlement policy that includes urban land to provide more serviced land to needy communities and by providing subsidies to first-time home owners.

“If elected to power, the DTA says it would improve the doctor-patient ratio and deliver better health services by putting local communities in charge of hospitals and clinics in co-operation with regional councils,” Venaani was quoted as saying. 

The party says it would allocate 2.2 percent of the national revenue annually towards establishing a Youth Enterprise Capital Fund to give young Namibians interest-free business financing without the traditional collateral requirement if elected to power.

Martin Lukato of the National Democratic Party (NDP) is a colourful character who has taken this year’s election campaign to another height. What makes this politician stand out is how he addresses public rallies without an audience. Lukato has been blasting out his campaign message to whoever bothers to listen at open markets and parking lots, promising to rid the country of corruption.

“The party (Swapo), which is ruling this country is very much corrupt. They are busy campaigning with government vehicles at the expense of taxpayers’ money. The NDP was created to free you from this corrupt government,” he shouted to hawkers who continued with their business unhindered.

On the other hand, the presidential candidate of SWANU of Namibia, Usutuaije Maamberua, said people must vote for his party, the oldest political formation in the country, for land, wealth, education, social justice and accountability. ‑ Additional reporting by New Era 

November 2014
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