• April 3rd, 2020

By-election candidates promise change… land, agriculture and employment top manifestos

Three candidates contesting the Otjiwarongo by-election are promising to tackle the high unemployment rate in the constituency. 
The lack of serviced land and housing, high levels of poverty, poor sanitation and food insecurity are also among the priorities. 

Landless People’s Movement (LPM) candidate Sebeteus Guiteb said the unemployment rate has reached an alarming level in the constituency. “We have identified agrarian reform within the Otjiwarongo constituency for the purpose of unleashing the economic potential of the constituency, which can translate into massive low-income job creation prospects for the inhabitants. We have underutilised municipal camps that lie idle due to underdevelopment,” Guiteb noted.  

The LPM promised to iplement large-scale irrigation schemes for job creation and food security. Otjozondjupa figures show unemployment stands at 24 000 which is 32,2 % of the region’s employable population as per the labour force survey of 2018. 

Independent candidate Erastus Mbumba promised residents quality housing, employment and proper public health facilities. 

Mbumba said he would prioritise education and training as well as job creation. Mbumba said food production is the main source of income for many and the development of the constituency and country at large depends on the food system. 

“The ultimate objective of food security is to ensure that all people at all times have both physical and economic access to food they need, because with an ever increasing population in our community, it is essential that everyone has access to the food and drink they need to survive, while at the same time ensuring that our society remains healthy,” Mbumba said. 

Swapo candidate Marlayn Mbakera vowed to, among others, intensify her advocacy for youth empowerment and upliftment within the consitutency. “My random survey through our multi-purpose health centre has revealed that there is an increase in households headed by children in our constituency, due to parental death, resulting in an increase in orphans especially among people living in our informal settlements. I intend to create support programmes for child-headed households and single mothers,” Mbakera said. 

She said her focus will be to initiate deliberate interventions such as youth entrepreneurship programmes, innovation mentorship initiatives, socio-economic events and promote a case for a business incubation facility. 

This, she says, will especially benefit the youth currently operating in the informal sectors and graduates from the various vocational training centres. “Such initiatives have the potential to stimulate continuous socio-economic development and create much-needed employment,” she added. 

Land provision
LPM’s interventions include putting together stakeholders to accelerate the servicing of erven.They also plan to get first time home buyers to buy erven straight from the municipality. 

LPM promised forming a development alliance with local business establishments, unions, mines in the area and local government to create jobs, retrain locals into vocational graduates, mentor entrepreneurs and use municipal land to grow agricultural produce on ten hectares. 

Mbakera and Mbumba promised to bring life to the sleepy, dusty and poverty-stricken settlement of Kalkfeld as part of their election campaign manifestos.

Kalkfeld, which is a settlement in the Otjozondjupa region, is rocked by high unemployment among the youth and poverty, with many people begging for food at any chance they spot visitors, especially at the filling station.  Mbakera has come up with a concept called Kalkfeld Development Focus. She promised to continue to work on programmes that were established by the late councillor Julius Neumbo. 

“Knowing very well that Kalkfeld settlement was high on his priority list, residents of Kalkfeld can be assured that I will keep my focus closely on Kalkfeld settlement. My focus will also be to lobby for businesses to come to our constituency specifically to Kalkfeld so that it will ease the burden of unemployment that is currently haunting the town,” Mbakera promised.

Mbakera believes this will lead into Swapo’s vision of proclaiming Kalkfeld a settlement to be upgraded to a village council in the near future. Mbumba promised that once elected, the councillor’s office will identify land in Kalkfeld that would be used by the unemployed youth to create gardens and do poultry farming to sustain them in order to reduce the high unemployment rate in the constituency. 
– anakale@nepc.com.na

Albertina Nakale
2020-02-20 08:14:53 | 1 months ago

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