All People’s Party (APP) president Ignatius Shixwameni said the recently-tabled national budget is neither pro-poor, nor does it contribute to “so-called shared prosperity”.
Contributing to the budget debate in parliament last week, Shixwameni said: “This is clearly a budget which promotes the interests of a small section of our society who normally benefit as compradore petty bourgeoisie, also referred to sometimes as tenderpreneurs or official state coffer looters and official state thieves.”
According to him, budgets are generally considered to be the outline of the majority party in a government’s priority programmes and considerations.
He said the budget reflects the politics, ideological thinking, perspectives, needs and contested interests of various classes and other segments of society in general.
Shixwameni called on the government to kill nepotism, cronyism, tribalism and ethnicity in government and state infrastructure.
“Let us kill the social evils in state-owned enterprises. As Samora Machel and [Thomas] Sankakra said, ‘the tribe and regionalism must die before the nation can rise as a united nation’.”
“We know you cannot easily dismiss ethnic and racial groups, but we also know that in a multi-ethnic and multi-cultural country like ours we must celebrate the cultural diversity,” he said.
He further called on the government to build unity “as unity will only come about if there is socio-economic inclusivity at all levels, from cleaners to directors, permanent secretaries and political office-bearers”.
Shixwameni also raised concern about the funding of state-owned enterprises (SOEs), saying it is a serious concern to the Namibian people.
He said the National Assembly allocation in the budget is a real risk factor to parliament’s oversight function.
“The allocation made to the war veterans vote remains a grave concern because most of these people continue to live in abject poverty,” he said.
Furthermore, Shixwameni said the urban and rural development budget has to be supported to enable councils to provide the needed services to residents.
“The economic sector needs to be promoted to create employment opportunities for the youth roaming in the streets because of poverty, with no hope for the future.”