Namibia: LPM Swipes At Swapo and UDF

The Landless People's Movement leader Bernadus Swartbooi.
9 January 2019

The Landless People's Movement (LPM) yesterday announced it has satisfied all requirements of the Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) for registration as a political party.

Its youthful leader Bernadus Swartbooi - briefing the media yesterday in Windhoek - said the movement's rebirth as a political party was gazetted on 12 December 2018.

As is law, public objections are open until 12 January 2019.

Swartbooi also used the occasion to denounce what he calls unconstitutional behaviours by the ruling party Swapo and opposition party UDF, to prevent the smooth registration of his party, said this undermined democracy.

Flanked by his deputy Henny Seibeb and party spokesperson Utaara Mootu, former land deputy minister Swartbooi accused Swapo of harassing and intimidating people that are on the LPM's list to the ECN.

"Our people are being intimidated and threatened with the withdrawal of veterans and social grants, withdrawal of tenders that they legally obtained and job losses in the civil service," Swartbooi claimed.

He also accused the ruling party of abusing the state apparatuses by using NDF trucks to transport refugees from Osire to the town of Otavi, Kombat and surrounding areas to reclaim up support that it has allegedly lost.

Swartbooi, a former regional governor of //Kharas, expressed his shock and dismay at the manner in which UDF, itself an opposition party, has been carrying itself politically.

He accused the party of colluding with Swapo to intimidate other parties, supposedly because the UDF leader is a staunch Geingob supporter.

However, he was quick to point out that not all in the UDF hierarchy is rotten, and that it is particularly the UDF faction from Daures Constituency that is problematic.

Swartbooi, who was recalled from Parliament and subsequently resigned from Swapo as a party member in mid 2017, assured his supporters that despite numerous calls from the 'old people's party' (Swapo) to go back, he will never re-join the ruling party.

He warned Swapo to brace itself for the biggest opposition party, the LPM, come elections later in the year. At the press conference jam-packed with accusations of undemocratic behaviours by the ruling party, LPM cautioned against lies and the militarisation of the security services.

He said the military deployment in a case where there is no state of emergency declared is an extension of Swapo's foreign policies, likening the events at home to what is happening in Kinshasa, DRC, where anarchy broke out following elections a week ago.

LPM, which promises wholesale land reforms if voted into power, said its leaders, will be participating in a hands-on study in Zimbabwe to see the impacts of land reform in that country. This will take place between January 26 and 29 this year, the new political party to be said.

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