Following a massive public uproar over the proposed construction of a N$2.2 billion parliament building, Affirmative Repositioning (AR) – the movement advocating for land for the youth and rural poor – has called for mass action to petition National Assembly Speaker Professor Peter Katjavivi.
Last year government evaded a possible land grab when it entered into an agreement with the AR to service 200 000 plots after the movement had set the July 31, 2015 deadline.
The AR under the leadership of Job Amupanda, Dimbulukweni Nauyoma and George Kambala noted that the construction of the new parliament building is clear competition for resources and would negatively impact on the struggle for housing.
“It is important that resources are used optimally and in correct expenditure. On June 16, 2016, [a total] of 5 000 youth will be coming to Parliament Gardens to peacefully petition the Speaker to stop the non-priority, not-needed and not-urgent construction of the N$2.2 billion new parliament building,” the movement said yesterday.
“This money must instead be redirected to land servicing. The N$2.2 billion will service, our calculation shows, 25 000 plots, an amount close to what the Harambee Prosperity Plan targets for four years,” AR stated.
It stressed that for Namibia, a choice between a new building for 200 politicians and 25 000 plots is obvious.
“We are convinced that parliament will be on the side of the 25 000 plots, instead of a narrow comfort of 200 politicians. The organisation of the 5 000 Youth June 16 Peaceful Mass Action, under the theme ‘Towards 25 000 Plots’, will begin immediately,” stated AR.
When contacted yesterday, the Speaker Professor Katjavivi responded that he would only be returning today as he was in Mauritius for the SADC Speakers’ Conference.
Presidential spokesperson Albertus Aohambub said: “Parliament is an independent arm of the state. The Speaker is the head of the legislature and not the president.”