Veteran politician and President of the Republican Party (RP) Henk Mudge has reignited talks of opposition parties merging to form a strong opposition outfit that can pose a serious challenge to the ruling party.
If this materialises, says Mudge, it will make a dent on the might of Swapo and will help to hold government to account for its actions.
Speaking to this publication during an interview this week, Mudge is convinced that “the fragmented opposition parties can never do justice to the country’s electorate.”
“They[Swapo] can carry on and run this country as their little property. They do not have to be accountable to anybody,” said Mudge before adding that “the only way we can stop this monster[Swapo] from eating up Namibia is by forming one strong opposition party.”
He added: “If you[opposition parties] are not prepared then stand up to the people and tell them that you are not prepared join forces to the benefit of the people. Say it to the people and see who will take you seriously.”
Mudge’s remarks come just a week after PDM’s secretary general Manuel Ngaringombe called on other oppositions to join forces with them to defeat Swapo at the 2019 election.
Ngaringombe was not clear whether those parties joining them would fall under PDM’s umbrella as a coalition or whether they would merge into single party with a different name.
Be that as it may, talks about forming a strong opposition is nothing new in Namibia.
To the contrary however, much seem to be just talk and no action when it comes to putting into practice what most opposition parties preach.
Speaking to this reporter during a separate interview, Rally for Democracy and Progress secretary general Mike Kavekotora did not object the idea of forming a strong opposition party.
“The formation of a strong opposition is a process. Thus, forming a coalition is a step towards realising that long-term dream,” Kavekotora said without going into detail.
The National Unity Democratic Organisation (NUDO) has been on the record saying it will only join a coalition when other parties become serious about it.
To the contrary, Mudge is adamant that a single opposition party is the only solution and not a coalition as was being suggested by other opposition parties.
He said a coalition can easily be broken apart especially if a certain group or leader becomes dissatisfied or is power hungry.
A political coalition is defined as an agreement for cooperation between different political parties on common political agenda.
Mudge further noted with concern the DTA of Namibia’s recent transformation to the Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) while also warning the likes of Landless People’s Movement (LPM) against entering Namibia’s already overcrowded political space.
Mudge believes that embattled former land reform deputy minister and LPM firebrand Clinton Swartbooi will have a greater impact in a single opposition as opposed to become political party, LPM.
Furthermore, Mudge did not shy away from pointing fingers at the ruling Swapo party saying that the excessive power it enjoys has “corrupted” the ruling party.
Mudge accused the Swapo Party-led administration of being “dishonest, corrupt and greedy” before reiterating that the only way such a government could be stopped was only through a strong opposition party.
He said Namibia did not land into the current economic conundrum by accident but it was rather self-inflicted.
He attributed the Namibia precarious financial state to former finance minister and current Premier, Sara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila under whose watch “billions of state funds were spent”.
“We landed in this situation because of the previous Minister of Finance, Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila. She was the one who started with these big projects for the Chinese,” said Mudge before demanding honesty from the Swapo-led Government on the deal it has with China.
“We have people that can built anything in this country but all major contracts were given to the Chinese. The government must come clean. Tell us, what is the deal? If you look at the embassy that they built here some time ago, they obviously targeted Namibia,” Mudge fumed.
To back his stance, the RP man added: “All big contracts went to the Chinese or the Koreans. What’s worrying is that we know that the reason for that is because of the kickbacks that government officials get from these contracts. I want to say ministers, deputy minister and PSs get. These contracts are inflated by 20% to 30%, that’s massive kickbacks. We know who they are. They get massive kickbacks and there is nothing being done to uplift the living standards of the people at the grassroots.”