Kamanjab-Landless People’s Movement (LPM) chief strategist Henny Seibeb believes the Swapo-led government has neglected Kunene Region for the past decades as no development has taken place in the region.
“This is a region neglected by the government for ages. Neglected for the past decades and the social economic development goes backwards and backwards,” thundered the deputy LPM leader.
Seibeb is also of the view that after Dudu Murorua’s reign as governor ceased and Joshua //Hoebeb took over the levers of regional power nothing has happened in Kunene terms of development.
“//Hoebeb was an old man and he did nothing for the region as no development took place,” he emphasised.
The outspoken Seibeb added that the late governor Angelika Muharukua ‘’was useless’’ and that the new governor Marius Sheya “is a very young man who does not understand development … and with political appointments the region is further going backwards.”
Compared with the development of other parts of the country Kunene has no new infrastructure such as schools or hospitals built after independence and unemployment is growing, he added.
“Employment creation must be given attention in Kunene. There are iron ore mines in the region but it’s foreigners who are involved and the tourism potential needs to be explored as the region has great scenery,” said Seibeb, who wants agricultural parks to be developed so that water from the Kunene River be used to water lucerne to feed the livestock in the drought-hit region.
Kunene north is still in the 18th and 19th centuries in terms of development than Kunene south which is at least in the 21st Century, according to Seibeb. “Northern Kunene people live in the past while southern Kunene is part of modern Africa,” Seibeb believes.
“Special intervention programmes are needed for Kunene north and as the world is moving fast we have to keep them on the same level. Convince them to accept modernisation to move towards development,” Seibeb said.
Further, he feels some places in the southern part such as Khorixas, Erwee, Anker and Sesfontein have also been neglected by the Swapo-led government for decades.
The LPM leadership which includes Seibeb will visit the north-western town of Khorixas to establish a working group.
“We want people to come and express their frustrations and issues so that we will capture them and include them in the manifesto,” Seibeb said.
After setting up the working group at Khorixas this week community mobilisation will take place before a bigger gathering of LPM takes place at the north-western town in the coming months.
The LPM deputy leader also said Khorixas Constituency Councillor Elias Xoagub is “useless” and that he practises patronage politics. “People say LPM must rule. The idea is to remove Swapo from power,” Seibeb added.
The LPM wants the total eradication of Swapo from at least //Kharas, Hardap, Khomas, Erongo and Kunene regions by 2020 and it intends, once it gets it right, taking over another five regions by 2025.
“We (LPM) want to unseat Swapo. Remove their two-thirds majority. At the moment we essentially have one party state but we are working towards two dominant parties,” Seibeb told New Era.
Seibeb also used the interview to dispel the notion that LPM is an ethnic-based political formation comprising of only Damaras and Namas. He dismissed this as “propaganda to discourage the people from supporting us”.