Namibia: Young MPs Promise Radical Change

The Landless People's Movement (LPM)'s incoming parliamentarian, Utaara Mootu, says she will be bold and unapologetic in her pursuit of radical change as she takes up her national responsibility next year.

Mootu is among a number of young people below the age of 30 who will be representing their respective political parties in the National Assembly from next year.

The LPM won four seats in the just-concluded National Assembly elections.

She will be one of the LPM members of parliament, alongside former land reform deputy minister Bernadus Swartbooi, LPM's deputy leader Henny Seibeb and Edson Isaack.

Mootu is a business and public management graduate from the University of Namibia.

In an interview with The Namibian, she said people must expect fearless contributions from her during parliamentary debates whilst pushing for radical change.

"We are also going to be fearless, bold and unapologetic. The way that people perceive us now is the way we are going to be in parliament. We are going to make the biggest noise," she stated.

One of the topics she would focus on once sworn in as a parliamentarian is mental health.

"We are going to look into mental health, and really advocate mental awareness to the nation because it is really being pushed aside by African traditions. The challenges of mental abuse are not about age, it goes deeper than just societal pressure," she stressed.

Mootu added: "We are obviously grateful for having to empower four people, but we do, however, feel that we expressed in our earlier statements that we believed the elections were not fair because they were rigged, and we feel that we were ripped off of some of our seats," she said.

The Popular Democratic Movement (PDM), which won 16 seats in the National Assembly, has four young MPs.

Twenty-one year old Maximilliant Katjimune will be the youngest parliamentarian in Namibia.

He is the current spokesperson of the University of Namibia's students representative council.

For Katjimune, the outcome of the elections demonstrated that the youth in the country are tired of mediocre leadership, and said they plan to keep the ruling Swapo Party and its president on their toes.

"What is very clear is that from now on, politicians are going to be held accountable. We will make sure that we table motions that are proactive to the issues faced by all facets of Namibian society.

"The vast majority of voters who voted for the PDM can rest assured that we will keep Swapo on its toes, in our bigger project to eventually gain power at the next election," he noted.

Echoing Katjimune's sentiments, fellow PDM MP Winnie Moongo (31) said their party plans to continue representing and serving the youth of the country.

"We are all Namibians. Youth empowerment should not be a threat, it should be seen as the economic growth catalyst," she added.

The PDM will also be represented by another Unam graduate and former SRC member, 23-year-old Inna Hengari, as well as Yvette Araes (28) in the National Assembly next year.

The fate of the PDM youngsters is, however, not yet decided as the party still has to solve a dispute with certain members who were forced to resign at the last minute for the PDM to comply with electoral regulations.

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