The official opposition party, DTA of Namibia, advised the ruling Government to see itself as a servant of the people instead of the other way around. The party’s deputy chief whip Vipuakuje Muharukua said this while responding to questions posed to the party regarding the state of Namibia 26 years after independence. Some of the topics he touched on include land, youth empowerment, public accountability, transparency. According to Muharukua, the country has not fully optimised chances to grow the economy by creating industries while small and medium enterprises are not well supported. “We have been proposing a youth venture capital equaling 2.2. % of the GDP. While we thank the government for taking on the idea, one hopes that it shall not be clouded by the corruption and nepotism that brought the Mass Housing project to its knees,” said Muharukua. The Namibian people and their socio-economic wellbeing should be government’s primary priority, Muharukua said.
“What we have been witnessing since independence is that government has been substituting the people’s needs for the enrichment of the few belonging to the elite clique. Tenders are given to the Chinese, because they have the best untraceable kickbacks,” he charged. No one in their right mind will ever think that we are going to be an industrialized nation by 2030. This “vision” started with the first President of the Republic, carried through to the preceding President. You would note that the current administration’s language has subtly changed. Government is no longer talking about Vision 2030, but the Harambee Prosperity Plan. Whether this is tied to the year and the vision is still to be seen. We shall all be better informed after the State of the Nation Address. On Vision 2030, Muharukua frankly said Namibia will not be an industrial nation by the intended time unless areas such as strengthening SME’s, value addition to resources and trade are given the required attention. He also said the economy at present is not strong enough to carry the country to Vision 2030, and suggested that sectors such as education; agriculture and fishing; mining, energy, infrastructure and transport are key for the country’s development.
Muharukua also reiterated the need for an Access to Information Law, saying: “The Government wants to appear to be transparent, but the reality is the executive continues to subject Namibians to only receiving information selectively by withholding information that will cause political discomfort,” Muharukua claimed. The party also wants Government to address the contentious land issue because “out of more than 2400 commercial farmers in Namibia, only a handful of those are previously disadvantaged Namibians.” Muharukua called for a second land conference in order to address the land situation in Namibia. On attracting foreign investment, Muharukua said Namibia can only be competitive if value is added onto local products, by extension making them competitive on the global markets. “While we welcome international investment, it must never be at the expense of the Namibian people. We must start with innovation. International investors must come and add value and resources to products we have invented,” he said, adding that Namibians will have more buying power if they do that. Muharukua did not only have unkind words for Government but also lauded it for its stance on trophy hunting and the importance of responsible and sustainable hunting. “Our wild life is a huge resource for our rural communities and and it allows Namibia to compete with the best of the best in the tourism sector. Our rural communities can reap more benefits and attract more investors if we continue this,” he said. Muharukua further said: “This is why I would agree with those who propose that we embark on quantifying or valuing our conservancies for our people to have bargaining power and attract more foreign investments.”