15 August 2017

Namibia: Swartbooi Slams Corrupt Leaders

FORMER land reform deputy minister and ex-Swapo parliamentarian Bernadus Swartbooi on Sunday publicly criticised some of his former comrades and government officials over corruption and the burning land issue.

Swartbooi met disgruntled members of the Landless People's Movement (LPM) at Rehoboth's Block E to share his opinion of the festering land issue.

"The LPM is not a movement out to name and shame people. You shame yourself through your deeds," Swartbooi stated.

The vocal land activist also called on some members of parliament to retire in order for change to take place. He added that new members who have the country's best interests at heart should take up positions in parliament.

"I think the time is nearing when we have to let some people tjaila. It is tjaila time for some people," Swartbooi said.

He said in the last 27 years, the country has been robbed to bankruptcy.

"The time we thought leaders were shepherds has been abolished in the last 27 years. Leaders are now thieves. If a government is not able to meet the basic needs of people, which is land, then why should this government continue to be in power?" Swartbooi asked, adding that government continues to ignore the largest stakeholders, which are the landless, in the issue of urban and ancestral land.

He added that the LPM has solutions to the problem and not just complaints, but government is not willing to listen to them.

"The government is not serious in addressing the issue of land, because they have not invited the LPM. The consultations have not been brought forth, the issues they want to address are not sincerely raised, and the agenda is not opened up. Those they are inviting are councillors and traditional leaders whom they control," Swartbooi said.

The LPM will have a conference in Windhoek on 7 and 8 September, where a land manifesto will be developed.

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