By Catherine Sasman
Republican Party leader, Henk Mudge, has expressed concern to President Hifikepunye Pohamba over what is increasingly viewed as political violence that marked the run-up to the foiled Omuthiya by-elections, which were set for today.
The opposition leader visited the President at State House this week as part of wider consultation between the Government and stakeholders.
“Peace and stability is a pre-requisite to development and to attract foreign investments,” said Mudge from his office when he briefed the media on his meeting with the President.
“We are extremely worried by the reports of events in the north, especially because those who are prophesying the fact that we need peace and stability – which are pre-requisites for development and access to foreign investments – are threatening other political parties,” said Mudge.
Mudge, however, did not mention any particular political party or names of individuals in this regard.
He said it is important that all political parties educate their supporters on the true meaning of democracy.
“It is, among others, to abide by the Namibian Constitutional provision in Article 17, which affords all citizens the right to join any party of their wish, intended to influence the composition and position of the Government,” he said.
He also mentioned Article 21, which affords the right to freedom of expression, which extends to the rights of the media.
He, however, said that he does not fear that a civil war might erupt, saying that Namibia is a peaceful nation.
“We are not hungry for war; that phase is long gone,” said Mudge.
He reported that he had spoken to the President about Mariental and impending flooding by the Hardap Dam, saying proposals made in Parliament two years ago to stave off any potential disaster in that area, had been ignored.
“If there were to be flooding, it could have devastating effects for the town; businesses can decide to pack up and leave,” he warned.
He has equally raised concern over Air Namibia, reportedly having said that the continued bailing out of the commercial airline is unacceptable.
“Although I support the fact that the national airliner should be subsidised for the privilege and luxury of such, this should be done to a much lesser extent,” he said.
“I have also expressed my concern over the influx of foreigners into Namibia.
I cannot understand why the Ministry of Home Affairs is so reluctant to issue work and residence permits to South Africans with skills and assets, while Chinese and other nationals from Angola and Zimbabwe push out small local businesses in the Caprivi,” he said.