By Kuvee Kangueehi
The All People’s Party (APP) was officially launched on Saturday afternoon at the Rundu Sports Stadium in Rundu.
APP was registered at the beginning of the year by the Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN). The party has been formed by leaders who defected from the Swapo Party and Congress of Democrats (CoD).
Over 2 500 members dressed in red and black, which are the official colours of the party, witnessed the first meeting of the APP which was addressed by its interim chairperson Ignatius Shixwameni.
Addressing the huge crowd, Shixwameni said the day (Saturday) is historic because it is the first time that the people of the Kavango Region witnessed the official launch of a brand-new party.
“It is the first time in an independent Namibia that the ordinary people, the poor, the unemployed, the underemployed in their big numbers will be saying with your own voices loudly and clearly, that we are sick and tired of empty promises.”
The former deputy minister said the new party wants the country to move on to another level of real development and progress in which the people are at the centre of development and not just the elite.
Shixwameni and other speakers at the occasion sought to dispel the notion that the APP is a party for people in the Kavango only. The interim chairperson said the APP is and is going to be a party for all.
“We are represented right now in all corners of Namibia and we welcome everyone, irrespective of their race, colour, ethnic or tribal origin.”
He noted that the APP wants to make sure that all Namibians are united around the theme of change and wealth distribution.
While new parties and opposition parties spend most of the time blaming the ruling party and its government, Shixwameni hardly threw any mud at the Government and said Namibians must stop the blame game.
“Stop the labelling of each other, stop the accusations and counter-accusations and focus on how do we solve the problems of poverty, unemployment, underemployment, homelessness, the poor state of our education, the poor state of health delivery in our country.”
He added that politicians in parliament need to focus on solutions to the nation’s problems as blaming each other and counter-accusations will not solve problems.
However, the crowd which was really lively and sung and danced despite the rain were not so modest in their criticism of Swapo in song. ‘Swapo, we are tired of your lies and we do not want you anymore’ went one of the songs.
Former Swapo Party Regional Councillor of the Rundu Rural West
Constituency Herbert Shixwameni took a swipe at the new party Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP) and accused the party of telling lies to the people.
The former councillor said the RDP has been recruiting people in the Kavango by lying to them that they needed an RDP membership card to attend the APP official launch on Saturday.
He said the RDP should not tell lies and must inform people about their manifesto.
The launch was preceded by a march through the town. Attendance shocked many people, even some of the locals who did not expect such a huge crowd.
Most of the people that attended the meeting came on foot. There were very few cars and no live music bands as has become customary at many political party rallies.
The only source of entertainment was a choir which sang gospel and traditional dance music.
The APP leadership was generally happy with the turnout but the real challenge for APP is whether they can pull such a big crowd anywhere else in the country, something that could prove that the party is indeed not a Kavango party, as is alleged.