MAKANGA – National Democratic Party (NDP) president Martin Lukato has lauded the peaceful transition of power from former leader Hifikepunye Pohamba to President Hage Geingob.
Paradoxically, Lukato was not happy with the appointment of the top hierarchy of government comprising the vice president, prime minister and deputy prime minister saying there was no ethnic balance and inclusiveness.
In a recent interview with New Era at his home village at Makanga, some 60 kilometres west of Katima Mulilo, Lukato said he had expected the top three political positions to be ethnically balanced.
“The NDP was very happy with the peaceful transition of power, especially that Geingob comes from a different tribe.
It is good for Namibia. However, with this, we expected Geingob to balance the top positions by taking people from other ethnic tribes but he did not do so,” said Lukato, whose party has yet to win an election even at constituency level.
He said it would have made sense if at least the top three were newcomers in government.
“It is disappointing the top three come from the same ethnic tribe. The top three were supposed to come from other minority groups. Minority groups like the Mayeyi and the San that never had a minister before,” lamented Lukato.
He said appointing an ethnically balanced Cabinet would have helped Geingob address development issues at all levels and he likened the current ministerial structure to an “oppressive regime”. “The entire Cabinet is not balanced.
One group is dominating. As NDP, we feel this is oppression. Well representation would have helped him to bring development at all levels,” he said though he failed to indicate how ethnic balancing brings development.
“The appointment of permanent secretaries should come from all the ethnic tribes,” he said.
Lukato further berated the appointment of the Speaker of the National Assembly noting that the Speaker should be apolitical in order to fulfil the ideals of democracy.
“The Speaker of the National Assembly should not come from a certain political party. He should be neutral. Since independence, speakers have all come from Swapo,” complained Lukato.
Lukato further claimed that, “Apart from the election of 1989 by the UN, no election has been free and fair in Namibia. We don’t have an independent electoral commission in Namibia. It’s Swapo people that are running elections. Parties don’t receive equal funding. Even the judiciary, Ombudsman, Anti-Corruption Commission and the Law Reform Commission are also not independent,” protested Lukato.
He further bemoaned the appointment of regional governors by the President, a move he says infringes people’s rights, as active participants in a democratic state.
“The Pohamba administration imposed a law to appoint governors. This law should not have been amended. Governors are politicians and should be elected by people,” said the NDP leader.
Despite exceptional commendation over the increase of old-age pension grants from N$600 to N$1 000 coming from all quarters, Lukato said NDP was not happy with the increase. “Our senior citizens fought for this country and suffered a lot. They live under abject poverty. NDP has always maintained that a pension grant of N$4 000 be given to our senior citizens,” said Lukato.
Lukato made headlines during campaigns leading to elections last year when he claimed he was the Biblical Moses sent to rescue the Namibian people from despondency.
During that time, without any iota of restraint and similar to modern-day preachers, Lukato used unorthodox campaign methods by addressing onlookers at any public place urging them to vote for his party much to their amusement.
Despite the ridicule, he garnered 1 389 votes in the national and presidential elections, which were not enough to take his party to parliament.