Swanu Says Swapo, Dta Entice Crowds With Food

SOUTH West Africa National Union (Swanu) president Usutuaije Maamberua has accused several parties of luring crowds to their rallies using food packages and beverages, especially in the rural areas.

Maamberua, who was responding to questions about his and other opposition parties’ lack of visibility and failure to pull crowds at rallies, said he had observed that two “wealthy” parties, Swapo and DTA, have made a habit of using food, especially meat, as bait to boost attendance at rallies.

“Do they think people will vote for them just because they feed them on meat and brotchens?” Maamberua asked.

Maamberua made these sentiments while visiting residents of the Havana informal settlement on Saturday. The Swanu leader said the purpose of his visit was to engage residents on the land issue and basic municipal services, which he says were lacking in the settlement. During his visit, Maamberua claims his party registered 30 new members.

Political analysts have criticised opposition parties for failing to attract satisfactorily large crowds to their rallies, with the exception of DTA. The ruling party Swapo always attracts good crowds.

The MP said most poverty-stricken people in rural areas would not make the trip to attend rallies, especially those that were far. He added that his party did not believe in people coming to their leaders at rallies, but rather in leaders going to the people at their homes.

At the Havana settlement, the party managed to attract a crowd of approximately eighty supporters who had come to hear Maamberua’s view on the land issue. He promised to visit each of them at their homes to engage on a more personal level after the meeting.

“Swanu does not speak to people in packed soccer stadiums in front of a sea of nameless faces. We go to the doorsteps of the people in order to engage them on a personal level and to hear their challenges first-hand,” he explained. One of those challenges, he stressed, was the land crisis in the country.

“The solution to the land question lies with Swanu because it is Swanu that best understands the history of land in Namibia.

It is also Swanu that has developed the methods and mechanisms, policies and strategies to address the land question in Namibia,” he said.

Maamberua said his party hopes to tackle the land issue using taxation, land conferences, investment in barren land, forestation methods, moral suasion, increased agricultural subsidies and land price controls. He also rubbished recent claims in the media that he had encouraged suspended Swapo Party Youth League spokesperson Job Amupanda to go land grabbing with his recent comments on reclamation of land in the country.

“Contrary to media reports, Swanu had nothing to do with Amupanda’s recent land grab. We neither condemn nor support his actions,” he said.

Source : The Namibian