Elezo Libanda in Katima Mulilo
In some circles, Martin Lukato Lukato, leader of the National Democratic Party (NDP) of Namibia, is konwn as “The messiah of Zambezi.” On Friday, Namibia Daily News (NDN) caught up with Lukato, who gave his insights on Namibia’s 29th independence, as well as what his opinions are of the country as it enters its third decade of independent rule…
NDN: What changes have you seen in Namibia, particularly within the 29 years of independence?
Martin Lukato Lukato: The change is there economically: the poorer have remained poorer and the richer are still accumulating wealthy unlike in the colonial times. The government of the day is not involving other stakeholders, and by stakeholders I mean opposition parties. We as the opposition are not there just to criticize but to advise and help redirect government programs to benefit the citizens of this country.
NDN: What can you say about the economy of Namibia?
Martin Lukato Lukato: The economy of Namibia – as confirmed by recent downgrades – is not good. The government is spending billions on unnecessary projects like the Neckartal Dam. You can’t spend billions on such a project while you have no control over rain. The people who came with that project should have thought: “What if the rain doesn’t come? You see, that is what I am talking about. That is like planning to fail. The presidential advisors are too many, thus complicating the whole process of the Advisory Council, as some functions are duplicated: you can’t have an economic advisor while you have a minister of finance; that is duplication of duties!
NDN: What changes would you implement if you were to come into power?
Martin Lukato Lukato: First of all, I will make sure I implement my ideas that the government stole from me! You must be aware by now that free education was my idea, though the government of the day stole the idea from me. I want to make sure free education is extended from primary to tertiary, Namibia is rich with resources but our resources are not benefiting the citizens of this country. The Electoral Commission must be independent. Currently, the commissioners of the Electoral Commission of Namibia are appointed by the President of the Republic! Do you want to tell me the Electoral Commission is independent? No way! The office of the Ombudsman; the Judiciary Commission, the Attorney General; these are some of the institutions that must be independent. I will also make sure foreigners are not given government tenders because they are shipping billions outside the country on a daily basis. Have you seen a Chinese in any of our local bank? That is because they are sending the money directly to China. Those are some of my plans that I plan to implement in the first month should I be elected as the President of the Republic.
NDN: Where is your support base?
Martin Lukato Lukato: I have support bases across Namibia. First and foremost where I come from, then I have support in Khomas region, southern and northern parts of our country, even some of the Members of Parliament are my people (can relate to our cause) because even if they don’t attend my meetings they are still my people, Lukato Lukato added.
NDN: Are you ready for the coming elections?
Martin Lukato Lukato: I have always been ready for elections, though the political funding is what is giving us headaches because NDP doesn’t have adequate resources to campaign. The politically funding in our country is not fair! Political parties must be allocated money to help them carry out their constitutional mandates like campaigning. The current law states that only political parties with Members in Parliament get funding. Every political party that is registered must be funded for our democracy to grow.
NDN: Do you have any message to your party members and sympathizers?
Martin Lukato Lukato: I want to encourage everyone in Namibia to vote for NDP; for a change; for economic growth and good governance. We have started campaigning already because time is not with us. I am always available at my NDP presidential home at Queens Village. You don’t need an appointment to come see me, as I am a servant of the people. I am always available anytime, any day. I was not invited to attend the Independence Celebrations held in the region on Thursday. However, I want to inform the nation that at NDP, we don’t stress because of a plate of salads and Vienna’s; we work for the people not to get something in return. – firstname.lastname@example.org: email@example.com