The Landless People’s Movement as a political party has been at the forefront of giving the downtrodden people of Namibia the voice to be heard in the face of being ignored for 30 years. In the political sphere, political parties are supposed to be the voice of those people who are ignored, those people who languish in poverty and hunger, the roofless and unemployed - in short, political parties of the past 30 years were supposed to restore the people’s dignity.
In the past, ruling and opposition parties were using the voters as election fodder by showing up two months in advance and handing out free t-shirts or caps and giving food. Dr Itula when running as an independent candidate gave taxi drivers N$100 and bought electricity for many cashiers and people in Lüderitz.
The ruling Swapo always makes lists for food and make sure to give out veteran statuses or tenders to most worthy handclappers. LPM took it upon itself to enlighten the people through written pieces, news conferences, impromptu YouTube videos, leaflets and even door-to-door visits. All this was done to fulfil the obligations as set out in LPM manifesto upon its launch.
The message of LPM is resounding throughout Namibia, from the parliament where we hold ruling party to account to our press conferences where we abhor the plight of our Namibian brothers and sisters. As LPM is facing its third major election after national election in November 2019, regional council by-election in January 2020 and very crucial local and regional council elections in November 2020.
These elections are crucial and critical for LPM on many fronts. First of all, these elections are all about regional powers given to regional councillors to redress fundamental problems. Yet, more important it is the bread and butter issues of every household, in turning their hard-earned cents around to pay for rates and taxes. LPM went out of its way to influence and attract as many people on the ground as possible. The first was to go into towns and give those people in the towns as LPM members the opportunity to nominate candidates of their choice to step into local or regional councils.
These nominated candidates were your everyday people, who could be nominated if being a paid-up member. Yet, as many candidates from other parties know how to play the politicking game and can influence voters to choose a specific candidate or even pay membership fees on behalf of the voter. LPM to assert what is best for the people also introduced further requirements in the nomination process.
The LPM leadership has devised a strategy by which nominated candidates must hand in clean codes of conduct from Namibian police, their CVs and lastly a laid-out development plan. A development map of how the specific nominated candidate will be able to achieve set development goals within the ambit of regulations, as well as the local authority and regional authority laws, not forgetting the laid down plans by Swapo for the past 30 years, but also within councils with perhaps majority opposition councils.
Not forgetting that councillors still need to face a corrupt workforce in local municipalities, who have been working against own party councils for many years. The LPM leadership will judge and give a final green light to candidates that meet all the above requirements. LPM has used outside technical experts in the final process before recommendations by LPM Leadership. As the technical committee did not know the leaders nominated, they could only rely on documents as requested by LPM elections director Sixtus Isaacks.
The technical committee created scorecards to be able to finalise the lists of all towns/villages in a clear and transparent manner. Specific weights were given to different criteria such as quantity of nominations (15%) code of conduct (10%), CV (20%) as these gives an idea of your work/leadership/educational values and lastly, the LPM economic development plan (55%) to give an indication of potential in planning/transformation/ knowing laws under which to operate/ are plans achievable/ and biggest weight falls on how these plans will benefit the people in terms of employment, skills training and housing.
In the last instance, we want to urge our voters to keep your candidates accountable, as all your nominated candidates will present their election manifests in September 2020. These final candidates will be representing LPM at the polls come November 2020, and we can assure our people and people who believe in LPM, that the whole Nomination process was made viable by giving the majority of people the choice to nominate own candidates, appointing independent technical experts in business, human resource management and project management.