Mass houses too expensive: Kavekotora

27 Jul 2014 15:30pm
WINDHOEK, 27 JUL (NAMPA) – Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP) Secretary-General Mike Kavekotora says the cost of houses constructed under the national mass housing project is “way beyond” what the majority of Namibians afford.
Speaking at a media briefing in Windhoek on Sunday on the outcome of the RDP Central Committee meeting which started on Saturday, Kavekotora alleged that there is a lack of capacity by the implementing agency of the mass housing programme, the National Housing Enterprise (NHE) due to political pressure from President Hifikepunye Pohamba.
“Swapo has devised a clever way to siphon money out of government to benefit the political well-positioned. They initiated an ill-conceived project and force the President to push for it while Swapo tenderpreneurs line up to receive free money,” he said.
Kavekotora also claimed that the Targeted Intervention Programme for Employment and Economic Growth (Tipeeg) was created to produce over 100 000 jobs, but only a few temporary job were created.
He alleged that President Pohamba has pushed for money to be disbursed even in cases where the project implementers were complaining of not having the capacity to complete projects successfully.
Tipeeg came into being in 2011 as a measure to curb unemployment in the country, and to ultimately address poverty.
The three-year programme was an attempt to arrest the persistent unemployment rate of 51,2 per cent officially released by the Ministry of Labour in 2008, as well as to address social and economic imbalances in the economy.
The Director-General of the National Planning Commission (NPC), Tom Alweendo earlier this month announced that Government has so far managed to create 87 000 jobs out of the originally-targeted 104 000 jobs.
Kavekotora further noted that the other issue discussed during the meeting is the 50/50 gender representation as required by the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Protocol on Gender and Development.
The Protocol demands that the Parliaments of members states should have 50/50 gender representation by 2015.
Kavekotora said the Swapo-Party took the decision to implement the protocol in its structures, and “it is up to them to live with such a decision without trying to involve other political parties”.
“What is disturbing is the motion by Swapo trying to force their decision on other political parties and the nation at large. The RDP rejects that motion and will challenge it in whichever way possible,” said Kavekotora.
Cabinet is looking into amending the Constitution to increase the number of seats to 100 in the National Assembly.
The Namibian newspaper last month reported that President Hifikepunye Pohamba has had to concede to the possibility of an amendment to appease those opposed to the implementation of 50/50 gender representation.
The topic was under discussion at the Swapo-Party’s Central Committee meeting last month and the 50/50 rule was apparently opposed by many, especially men, who fear being left out.
Kavekotora said his party suspects that the “hastily made” decision to enlarge Parliament is just a clear response to the alleged dilemma Swapo is facing in the implementation of equal gender representation.
He noted that the taxpayers will foot the bill of the bigger legislature to the detriment of other national development projects.
The RDP Secretary-General further noted that the CC meeting rejects the intent of Swapo and Prime Minister Hage Geingob to establish a ministry responsible for State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs).
He said the ruling party must learn to acknowledge past mistakes and learn from such mistakes, adding that the problem faced by SOEs is a notion of “jobs for comrades”.
“Instead of wasting limited government resources, the solution lies with the employment of competent Namibians at board and management level to steer SOEs,” Kavekotora said.