The presidency will continue to engage with the leaders of the Affirmative Repositioning (AR) movement, even though the ruling party Swapo has elected to cease further discussions with the AR.
“The Office of the President would like to re-affirm its willingness to engage and dialogue with the leaders of the Affirmative Repositioning movement. The actions taken by the Swapo Party Politburo to expel its members, due to ill discipline, have no bearing on government’s position to engage on the pressing land and decent shelter issue faced by our country,” President Hage Geingob said on Saturday afternoon.
Geingob’s statement follows the decisive pronouncement by Swapo secretary general Nangolo Mbumba that “after careful consideration of all issues related to this matter, the politburo decided [that] Swapo discontinues further engagement with the AR movement”.
“The politburo called on the government to accelerate the implementation of the programmes aimed at addressing the delivery of land to the Namibian people and to continue to engage with the AR movement,” Mbumba said.
Geingob agreed that the demand for each Namibian to have decent shelter is a legitimate one, but warned that threats to commit criminal or violent acts in the pursuit of this basic right are not legitimate.
“The fundamental rights and freedoms of Namibians are entrenched in the Namibian Constitution and the Office of the President calls upon the AR movement and its supporters to exercise their rights in a manner that shows understanding of the rights of others and the duties of the State,” said Geingob.
Last week the AR leaders met with the Swapo Politburo, chaired by Pendukeni Iivula-Ithana, to find common ground on the land issue but the meeting is said to have been a flop after the AR team refused to change their stance.
New Era understands that the bureau committee and AR had planned to meet again for further dialogue, but the politburo decided otherwise.
Geingob and his politburo colleagues on Friday recommended that the AR leaders Job Amupanda, George Kambala and Dimbulukeni Nauyoma along with Swapo Party Youth League secretary Elijah Ngurare be expelled from the party. However Geingob said that decision would not in any way hamper government’s decision to address the land issue.
Geingob said he was confident that the 94 recommendations presented by the Cabinet Sub-Committee on Land to amend laws and policies will fundamentally change the structure of land delivery and availability for Namibians for the better.
“Government is hopeful that the envisaged dialogue will result in agreement on, or improvement of, these recommendations as the focus of the government is to ensure that the best recommendations are implemented as expediently as possible,” he said.