No Murderers in War-De Klerk

THE United People’s Movement (UPM) deputy national chairperson Lukas Johannes de Klerk has condemned the Swapo government for denying former SWATF veterans’ benefits.

Speaking at a UPM rally at Karasburg on Saturday where the party launched its 16-point election manifesto ahead of the National and Presidential Elections in November, De Klerk said the Veterans Act “discriminates against SWAFT members”.

“Tell (President Hifikepunye) Pohamba that SWAFT members are not murderers. In war, there are no murderers. Swapo planted land mines and bombs. We were there to protect our families and properties,” said De Klerk, a former SWAFT member.

He challenged Swapo to say why many of the people, who went into exile to liberate the country and ended up in the Lubango dungeons in Angola – especially those from the southern regions – did not return home after independence.

“Where are they? The President and Prime Minister must tell us where they are? Did they not come back because their skin colour was white?” de Klerk asked, refuting claims that UPM is a Rehoboth “Baster” political party.”The party has spread its wings to all corners of the country and has representatives coming from north, south, east and west,” said De Klerk. “It’s not about numbers, but about the message of peace, stability and freedom.”

De Klerk also said Karas governor Bernadus Swartbooi is at the tail-end of the Swapo National Assembly candidates’ list because he apparently “talks too much for his people”.

“That’s not good for honourables because he demands that his people [should] be given (job allocation) preference when there are job opportunities in the region,” he said. The party national chairperson, Jan van Wyk, highlighted important points of the manifesto for the party that will contest for the first time since its formation in 2010.

Currently, UPM has two local authority seats at Rehoboth and Okahandja from the 2010 elections.

Van Wyk said their manifesto aims to express the interests and rights of oppressed people, nationally and internationally to sincerely endeavour to support and respect the rights of all oppressed and exploited minority groups and to fully utilise the constitutional platforms to achieve their objectives.

“This party was born (founded) to fight for the rights of minority groups who face extinction. The minorities are sucking the hind teat. Why?” Van Wyk asked. “We will support the Basic Income Grant for those with no income.”

Although election manifestos are about promises, Van Wyk played it safe by saying that UPM was not making promises.

“We are tired of empty promises made by the Swapo Party and even [some] opposition parties,” he said.

The party introduced its National Assembly candidates, saying the party’s 32 candidates have been selected from regions across the country.

Source : The Namibian