WINDHOEK, 27 JUN – Former deputy minister of Land Reform and leader of the Landless People’s Movement (LPM), Bernadus Swartbooi says he holds no grudges against President Hage Geingob.
Swartbooi’s remarks come more than a year after he was shown the door as deputy minister by Geingob for failing to apologise to his then superior, Utoni Nujoma.
He told Nampa recently Geingob was there for him on several occasions and therefore he has “no hate for the old man”.
“Geingob I can’t hate; hate finishes you. I have no relationship with him and I would not want any relationship with him because there is nothing that can add value to me by having a relationship with him,” he said.
The comments follow various statements made by the LPM leader on Geingob, which has since got him labelled “an angry man and frustrated man” by Geingob.
“I don’t structure my opinion on a person because I hate or like a person. What is right is right. What is wrong is wrong,” he explained.
The lawyer-cum-politician then took on Government’s poverty eradication schemes, saying there are really no tangible efforts to address poverty in the country.
He took issue with Namibia’s mining and fishing sectors and what he termed the “skewed” land redistribution policy.
“Mines and energy EPLs (exclusive prospecting licences) are too expensive, and not for the poor. Agricultural land is too expensive; not for the poor. Fishing quotas and the administration thereof is too expensive; not for the poor. Who then is the target of poverty eradication schemes?” Swartbooi wanted to know.
The former //Kharas governor said individual enrichment schemes had been confused for poverty eradication schemes.
His remarks come a few weeks after justice minister Sacky Shanghala said fishing quotas are “not for everybody”.
They also come at a time when Swanu of Namibia proposed that fishing rights and quotas be allocated to regions or communities rather than to individuals in order to uplift Namibians out of abject poverty.
On his party’s future, Swartbooi indicated that they have a strong presence in 11 of the 14 regions, without specifying which regions “for security regions”.
He said they are working very hard with their limited resources to spread LPM’s message countrywide.
LPM is yet to register formally as a political body with the Electoral Commission of Namibia.