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Opposition Rejects Swapo Think Tank Medical Fund Idea

By: Justicia Shipena

Opposition political leaders have rejected Swapo Think Tank’s concept of a health care system.

A Think Thank report presented to the central committee this weekend recommended that the government introduce a N$50 monthly deduction for everyone who earns more than N$5 000.

The money is supposed to be contributions to the proposed national healthcare.

Speaking to The Villager on Monday, Popular Democratic Leader (PDM) McHenry Venaani says they moved a motion in parliament for a universal health care coverage three months ago.

“Which the ruling party said they were already working on it. It comes to light that the ruling party was lying by saying the cabinet has already approved the universal health care coverage while they were waiting for a Think Tank report,” said Venaani.

He added that the social security act provides a fund for universal health coverage, but that fund has not been utilised.

“If the ruling party is ready to address universal health coverage, why lie about it in parliament and say that they are at an advanced stage?” he questioned.

Venaani stressed that the debate was already in parliament, and Swapo turned it down.

“The ruling party was saying no, Venaani. We are already working on it; why don’t we withdraw, and yet they are lying about it.”

He also said Swapo should reveal whether they have explored the fund.

“To say people must pay an extra N$50, that is a Swapo thing. We are saying you can be able to fund healthcare coverage via the social security fund,” he stressed.

He further said the government should explain what happened to the social security fund and how much is in it.

“How much is in the fund to finance universal health coverage?”

Rally for Democracy Progress (RDP) leader Mike Kavekotora says the ruling party and all its instruments have a way of trying to make proposals and recommendations made by opposition parties.

“I recall Hon Venaani introducing a motion to parliament about the health coverage aiming to do exactly the same thing. I don’t know what they had to duplicate it,” said Kavekotora.

He said it is a contradiction to what Venaani was proposing.

“I think the idea is just for them to win credit eventually by saying that they are the ones who came up with that idea, but the opposition has already proposed a similar way of introducing universal health care,” he said.

He stated that the inflation and food prices spiking already infringe upon the income of public servants.

“Now, if you come and again want to deduct from their income without really having a corresponding increase in their salary, their salaries will diminish, and the economic hardship will kick in.”

While Landless People’s Movement (LPM) deputy leader Henny Seibeb claims Swapo would take advantage of the funds.

According to Seibeb, it is a forfeited idea.

“There is nothing that they are thinking about. They better come up with innovative ideas,” he said.

He stated that anything that comes from Swapo is an opportunity for them to ‘eat’.

“They just want to eat and eat and eat. Now somebody very crazy is having that idea. And those N$50 maybe one of their companies will manage and collect. They are just thinking of eating and drying this country. I think that comes from Swapo must be rejected.”

“They are not even a Think Tank; they are just a bunch of thief tanks, maybe.”

Moreover, Nudo’s Joseph Kauandenge questions why individuals should pay N$50 when they pay for tax.

He stressed that government priorities are upside down.

“How can you ask Namibians to contribute N$50? You are already paying taxes, especially those the government wants to deduct. Why should they be held again to contribute N$50?” he questioned.

Kauandenge concludes that there is no room for people to be contributing the N$50 amidst the economic crisis of Namibia.

The report was presented at the party’s central committee meeting, stating that private and state-owned medical aid funds would manage the fund.

Justicia Shipena

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