By Reagan Malumo
The Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP) held a rally last weekend at the Katima Mulilo Sports Complex, which attracted several hundreds of people.
Addressing the rally, RDP Interim President Hidipo Hamutenya informed his supporters that Government had failed to address poverty in the Caprivi and Namibia in general.
He said shortly after independence, Namibia was a promising democracy, but later degenerated into autocratic and dictatorial rule.
The former Cabinet minister said the country is threatened by unemployment and a declining economy and that this is due to a Government that has lost vision and cannot make or implement new decisions.
He felt Government had failed to implement agricultural projects that could turn Caprivi into a food basket, but was rather consumed by talking.
“Where is the Lyambezi Sugar Project, where is the cotton project for Caprivi and where is the green scheme in Caprivi,” asked Hamutenya.
Meanwhile, RDP Secretary General Jesaya Nyamu told the crowd that he was disappointed to note that a region that was once at the helm of everything in terms of education and development like Caprivi, had fallen behind.
He blamed poverty in the region on the Swapo Government. He also said the Government does not care for its citizens, allowing them to be refugees in Botswana for almost ten years, despite the fact that their country is independent and has a democratic constitution.
He said a democratic state such as Namibia does not allow its people to be in exile for ten years, and that time has come to bring those sons and daughters back to their home country.
“If you allow Swapo to do what they want, they will do like Mugabe,” said Nyamu, who claimed there were a lot of other sensitive issues about Caprivi that he was unable to reveal, but would do so on his next visit to the region.
Hundreds of RDP supporters, most of whom are former key DTA and Swapo Party advocates in the region, wore party attire and appeared thrilled, striding and shouting RDP slogans.
One of those who attended the rally was former NBC manager Francis Sikumba, who promised supporters that come 2009, his party would bury all the other parties in the region.
Former Katima Mulilo chief executive officer and former Swapo regional coordinator for women’s affairs in Caprivi, Agnes Limbo, who now holds the position of RDP regional secretary for women’s affairs, blamed Swapo for the escalating HIV/AIDS pandemic in Caprivi.
“The only project which Swapo has brought in Caprivi is HIV/AIDS,” she claimed, stressing that Swapo has failed to address poverty in the region and that this has contributed to the increase in the spread of the deadly disease.
Other RDP regional leaders who attended were the RDP regional secretary for women’s affairs, former DTA and former CoD member Elizabeth Kambinda, who is now RDP regional secretary for culture, RDP regional secretary for information and publicity David Siseho, and RDP regional youth secretary Ernest Lisho.