KEETMANSHOOP - Clinton Bernadus Swartbooi, leader of the Landless People's Movement (LPM), has urged members to “join hands in a walk to transformation” during a mass rally in Keetmanshoop over the weekend.
Delivering his keynote address, the party leader said despite Namibia gaining independence, most ‘non-whites’ still suffer from the effects of poverty.
He accused rich, arrogant politicians of promoting injustice.
While acknowledging development in the //Kharas Region under the Swapo government, such as Neckartal Dam, the University of Namibia campus and mass housing, he still lamented lack of jobs in the region.
“There is a time to lie and a time to talk the truth, one is short while the other is long,” said Swartbooi.
He added that LPM believes in making things right as one nation regardless of ethnicity, race or colour.
He added that the time has come for a leadership dedicated to the people.
If elected into power this year, LPM promises to clean up corruption from top to bottom and create more employment opportunities in the country, the former regional governor promised.
Another achievement to accomplish will be to take over the management of the Keetmanshoop Municipality and bring about changes needed, Swartbooi added.
“Namibia is a country rich in resources and a small population, but, however, lacks honest and wise leadership,” he said.
He promised to, if elected to lead the country, raise social grants for pensioners from the current N$1 250 to N$3 000 and that for orphans and vulnerable children to N$1 500 (from N$250). He, furthermore, promised a cut in the current number of ministries to between 10 and 12.
On land, he told people living in shacks that LPM would afford them ownership of the piece of land they are currently occupying, with the provision of “proper accommodation structures with electricity, water and sanitation”.
“The City of Windhoek can budget N$10 million to demolish shacks, yet it fails in the provision of proper housing for these very same people,” argued Swartbooi.
Swartbooi further charged that there is no justification for the existence of regional councils, as local authorities being the providers of basic services can equally carry out the mandate of proper governance.
On income taxes, he said: “Currently we pay 34 percent for every N$100 earned, but we will bring it down to between 25 and 28 percent, while also exempting traditionally recognised religious organisations from paying tax since they are not business entities.”
Swartbooi added that the ministry of agriculture should shift its focus to food production, creating employment opportunities in the end.
“The government should not invest in erecting new buildings and tarring roads but rather invest in improving on the socio-economic standards of our people at grassroots level,” Swartbooi said. On genocide, the LPM leader feels the issue should be regarded as “restorative justice”, benefiting not only the concerned parties in particular, but the Namibian nation as a whole.