Independent candidate for the Epukiro constituency Sandie Tjaronda has vowed to make the constituency the region’s economic hub by, among others, reinforcing the agricultural sector and building capacity to add value to its raw materials.
Tjaronda will be contesting for the position against Swapo’s Paki Pakarae, Ithele Kambirongo (Independent Patriots for Change), Kenikejanda Kandetu (Nudo) and Popular Democratic Movement’s Unotjari Makono in this month’s regional council elections.
The Epukiro settlement, formed in 1902, is situated about 120 kilometres northeast of the regional capital Gobabis. The constituency is currently being governed by Swapo. According to the Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) the constituency has 4 646 registered voters.
“We need a new battalion of economic liberators who will be bold and daring to help reshape Epukiro constituency into a vibrant economy, a model of rural area reform,” said Tjaronda, the former director of Namibia Networks of AIDS Service Organisations (Nanaso).
“We need our inhabitants to invest in Epukiro and make her great. We need to create incentive programs for radical economic transformation. We need to drive this with infrastructure-based reform. We need a labour intensive project to generate capacity for job creation for semi-skilled and skilled labour. We need to recognise and affirm the locals in our capital projects so we don’t ignore their long-suffering and take their patience for granted. We need to reinforce agriculture and build capacity to add value to our raw materials.”
Above all, Tjaronda said constituency inhabitants need to build unity of purpose to rid the community of petty divisions to create an inclusive community.
“No one is an island. We need each other to match on this new dispensation,” he said. “In my world, all are equal. No one is above the law and no one is superior. The rich and the poor have this in common; they need each other. It’s a world where we co-exist.”
He said the politics of lies and deceit must be buried eternally. “The politics of predator politicians preying on the poor and thriving on their deplorable conditions of destitution are over,” he said.
“People must rise again and take their rightful place of power and influence. No one, including the most powerful politician on earth, is more powerful than the collective strength of people.”
Tjaronda is a former journalist, who worked for various non-government organisations (NGOs).
He said he has always been passionate about providing a helping hand to the underserved.
“I have always translated this into smaller baby step interventions in my immediate surrounding – a feeding programme for the elderly, a tournament for youth and training for youth and women groups in areas such as business management, information, communication and technological revolution,” he said.
“My conviction is to lead the people out of political wilderness; to equip them to be masters of their own destiny. I will do my utmost best to rid them of fear and rebuild their lost confidence in themselves. Using tools such as participatory rural appraisal, I want people to be at the centre of their own transformation. The answer to their problem lies with them – not the government. They will have to liberate themselves from self-pity and waiting on government to make things happen for them; that is a fantasy world.”