By Mathias Haufiku
WINDHOEK - The Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP) president Hidipo Hamutenya says there is a need for real fundamental change to improve the lives of Namibians, who he says, are tired of lip service and empty promises from the Swapo-led government.
Speaking to the media on Sunday soon after the party’s Central Committee (CC) unanimously endorsed his nomination as its candidate for the presidential race slated for November, he also took a swipe at opposition parties eyeing the country’s ‘official opposition’ status.
“People in this country are tired of empty promises and lip service, therefore I urge all RDP members to have resolute determination during campaigns to bring change in this country,” said Hamutenya.
He said there is a need for a “real fundamental change in the country to improve the lives of Namibians.”
“To those small parties who want to become the official opposition, all I am saying is that you are welcome to do so because we [RDP] want to take over the reins of this country and not to remain the official opposition,” said Hamutenya.
In the last presidential race in November 2009 Hamutenya secured only 10.91 percent of the vote (88 640) against President Hifikepunye Pohamba who took the lion’s share of 75.25 percent of the votes.
While announcing Hamutenya’s endorsement RDP Secretary General Mike Kavekotora dismissed rumours that Hamutenya and Kandy Nehova are at loggerheads.
“This issue has been settled once and for all. Hamutenya was nominated by comrade Kandy Nehova to stand as the party’s presidential candidate, this says a lot about the relationship between the two,” he said.
In addition the RDP is preparing its election manifesto for public distribution, stated Kavekotora.
The CC also agreed to hold its electoral college in September.
With Namibians set to make use of electronic voting machines (EVMs) during the election, Kavekotora said the party will not stand in the way of the EVMs provided they lead to free, fair and credible elections.
“The credibility of past elections has been questionable and we are not prepared to make the same mistake again in trusting that the ECN is genuine. The RDP supports the EVMs but ECN must make sure that these machines leave a paper trail. Without the paper trail, the credibility of ECN and the government will remain doubtful,” he said.
The party also rejected Prime Minister Dr Hage Geingob’s proposal for the establishment of a new ministry that will be responsible for state-owned enterprises (SOEs).
“The problems faced by SOEs is the notion of jobs for comrades. Instead of wasting limited government resources, the solution lies with the employment of competent Namibians at board and management level to steer SOEs,” said Kavekotora.
The party also urged government to implement the Basic Income Grant (BIG) and redistribute wealth to the needy."