Swapo Launches Election Manifesto

PRESIDENT Hifikepunye Pohamba launched the 2014 Swapo Party Election manifesto at the Sam Nujoma Stadium in Katutura on Saturday.

The 52-page document was launched almost a week after the party held its electoral college and sets out the party’s vision for Namibia for the next five years.

The launch was poorly attended, so that ministers, deputies, members of the politburo and the central committee of the party, heads of wings, organs and structures as well as supporters left the VIP tent to sit on the stands.

Only the Founding President Sam Nujoma, Prime Minister Hage Geingob, First Lady Penehupifo Pohamba Khomas governor, Laura McLeod-Katjirua, and Swapo secretary general Nangolo Mbumba remained in the VIP tent.

Pohamba said the manifesto is a social contract with the people and through the document, Swapo is recommitting itself.

In the manifesto, Swapo pledges to acquire 417 000 hectares a year for the next six years up to 2020 to reach the target of 2,5 million hectares under the National Resettlement Programme.

“We will continue with the willing-buyer willing-seller principle while at the same time continuously reviewing the same,” the manifesto read.

The party also pledged to continue the campaign on zero tolerance of gender-based violence, creating awareness on available services. In addition, the party will also look at the possibility of free tertiaryhigher education in priority sectors.

The manifesto further promises to increase funding for the Unam School of Medicine. This will, in turn, increase the intake of both the school of medicine – from 55 to 80 per year – and that of the school of pharmacy – from 25 to 40 students per year. It also says new programmes in dentistry, laboratory and rehabilitation would be introduced.

Furthermore, it pledges to ensure that Namibia remains competitive and invest in transport, energy, water infrastructure, housing, sanitation and information communication technology.

Pohamba said they are reiterating their commitment to expand service delivery by creating opportunities for economic empowerment, improve living conditions, especially for those living in rural and peri-urban areas.

“This is part and parcel of our strategy to consolidate peace, stability and prosperity in the country. We believe a peaceful and stable Namibia will be a more prosperous Namibia,” he said.

Pohamba urged political parties to conduct themselves peacefully during campaigns and to ensure that elections are held in a peaceful atmosphere.

Mbumba did not have much to say on the attendance, except that “the next one (launch) will be bigger and better.”

He said the manifesto and the billboards made available for the campaign speak for themselves. “We are, however, grateful to those who showed up.”

Khomas governor McLeod-Katjirua agreed that the launch was poorly attended, and that they will have to improve on the arrangements next time.

“It speaks for itself. This is the first time we have had such a low turnout here in Khomas,” she said.

Member of parliament Alexia Manombe-Ncube said this was unusual for Swapo. “I am not used to this kind of turnout for Swapo rallies.”

Veterans deputy minister Hilma Nicanor said she was happy with the turnout because most presentation was for the leadership.

“Leaders will carry the message back to all regions. This is just the launch, we have no doubt that people will show up for the election campaigns,” Nicanor said.

Source : The Namibian