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By: Justicia Ashipena and Kelvin Chiringa 

When LPM leaders Bernadus Swartbooi and Henny Seibeb took on President Hage Geingob in the National Assembly, resulting in their suspension, no one ever thought the parties could meet.

But they did! And behind closed doors at State House on Wednesday.


 For the Necktartal Dam, the delegation motivated Geingob that the “relevant Ministry make land available to //Kharas Regional Council for investment opportunities creation and co-ownership.”

They have told Geingob that as matters stand now, only Namib Mills has shown interest in this dam, and the waters are being wasted.

They decried that grape farm workers at Aussenkehr and Noordoewer live in deplorable conditions.

They want Geingob to make an investment commitment of N$50m annually to fast track development. 

“But all of that will waste as pipes and sewer ponds are without water for years now. The obstacle, we understand, is a lack of further funding and public-private partnership arrangement in the housing scheme. Equally, the land has not been bought when the development was implemented. The land must be brought under state ownership soonest,” they told the President.

Another key highlight of their concerns tabled before Geingob is the issue of local authorities in the southern regions which they said owed NAMPOWER over N$250 million in electricity debt.

“We advise the central government to write off this crippling debt so the municipalities and village councils can perform efficiently and effectively in service delivery. Much of it is a historical debt spanning many years, which may not even be paid in full even in our lifetime. Pensioners cannot cope, so are some in the lower-middle-class and those households headed by single-mothers,” they said.

LPM, however, touched on a critical national issue that also affects other regions, which is the land question.

But they want war veterans to stop getting more of the land and have proposed that attention be given to genocide survivors instead. 

They have proposed that the current resettlement programme be stopped and new modalities studied and implemented without delays. 

“Veterans never lost any single iota of land, and as such, the prioritisation of the veterans must be stopped with immediate effect. Genocide victims must be prioritised by law in the Resettlement Programme,” they said. 

From the south, their document focused on the Omaheke region, where they wanted the government to better care for the marginalised San communities. 

However, on gas and oil investments, they want “Shell and Total, and NAMCOR to begin conversations with //Kharas Regional Council on possible joint-ownership, or allocation of shares meant for the overall development of the inhabitants of this region.”

Concerning Geingob’s flagship Green Hydrogen mega-project, LPM stressed that they “want to see local, //Kharas and Hardap based SME’s participating in the industrial components of the projects”.

They also touched on the Genocide issue where they want the President to lead a “Genocide Conference” with affected communities only, to map a collective way forward.

Political analyst, Ndumbah Kamwanyah, said the Landless People’s Movement (LPM) may have committed political suicide by tabling proposals to President Hage Geingob meant to boost the economy of their political bases in the south more than other regions.

LPM paid a courtesy call to State House on Wednesday.

The party has a solid stronghold in the south, where it booted Geingob’s Swapo out. However, they have struggled to get a foothold in the North, where Swapo dominates. 

In a closed-door session, the party presented to Geingob a document detailing “investment opportunities, viabilities and possibilities in LPM led regions”. 

Kamwanyah said the LPM delegation appear to be going after their own political needs where they have obtained votes. This may not augur well for a party that must be seen to be encompassing of all regions. 

“I understand that a lot of development is needed in those (southern) regions for obvious reasons, but I think it is narrow and political suicide for them to exclude other regions based on party membership. They are narrowing themselves to get new members and supporters, and they will be seen as a party for a certain region,” said Kamwanyah. 

 In the meantime, Kamwanyah lauded Geingob for demonstrating political maturity by opening the doors of the State House to political parties that he conflicts with. 

He said that Swartbooi had retraced his footprints back to Statehouse, where he once stormed out after a disagreement, which shows that anything can happen in politics. 

“It is important to know that that is the nature of politics, today you are shouting at each other, you are seeing each other as enemies and tomorrow, it’s a different ball game. 

“But also I think it shows the maturity of your democracy that personal issues conflict should not prevent political parties to consult each other, prevent parties to visit the State House and vice versa, that the President should open the State House doors to anybody including people that he is in conflict or he doesn’t like,” said Kamwanyah. 


Kelvin Chiringa

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