TSES – The leader of the Landless People’s Movement (LPM) Bernadus Swartbooi said the level of corruption under the apartheid government was better compared to the current high level of corruption in the country.
Speaking at a meeting in Tses village last Saturday, Swartbooi accused the current ruling Swapo-party and the government of crippling Namibia, as only the elites and their children are benefiting from the Namibian resources through corruption, while the masses remain in poverty.
“They drive nice cars and wear nice suits and they mistake this for development. The apartheid government was better, they stole Namibian resources using a spade, but the Swapo government brought a bulldozer and they are stealing everything, our children cannot continue to be slaves of the elites,” he said to about 50 people in attendance.
Swartbooi was once a Swapo Party Youth League leader, the Governor of //Kharas, and subsequently the Land Reform deputy minister and Member of Parliament before he was asked to resign by President Hage Geingob from the ministerial post last year. Swapo later recalled Swartbooi from Parliament and he went on to resign from the party and concentrated on LPM.
He said the LPM is the right party to associate with because it would ensure that Namibia moves into a new and right direction, where every citizen can benefit from the country’s resources. Swartbooi then urged those in attendance of the need to register and vote, so they can participate in the national elections.
Meanwhile, Swartbooi was adamant that LPM has set its eyes on one day being a governing party in Namibia.
“We are not fighting to become the opposition party, we are fighting to take over and govern, and lead Namibia into the right direction,” he said.
He said the LPM party has moved into the right direction since its inception, saying the public response has been massive with many people willing to join the new party.
He added that things are changing and it is the right time to tell people that it is not a crime to leave the ruling party, Swapo.
About seven members signed up as committee members during the meeting. LPM’s chief strategist and deputy leader Henny Seibeb told New Era that the party has made significant progress since the official announcements of its political party status.
“We have done tremendously well, the only drawback is finance because people pay for themselves to attend meetings, but this shows that this is a grassroots movement,” said Seibeb of LPM.
Also part of the delegation was Fred Kaluka, who is LPM’s coordinator in the Zambezi Region and he briefly told the gathering that he was happy to join LPM because they represent and talk about issues affecting not only people of the south but everyone in Namibia.
Kaluka said he has so far managed to recruit about 380 members in a short period and he expects these figure to rise, adding that as a former PDM member, he will not only focus on recruiting PDM members but also people from other political parties, including Swapo veterans in the region.
“I am impressed that you realised that LPM should not only be for people from the south, the problems you have are the same problems we have and therefore we need to nationalise this movement, this is the only way we can win,” said Kaluka.