Swanu backs Swartbooi

10 Dec 2016 11:50am
KEETMANSHOOP, 10 DEC (NAMPA) – Swanu has come out in support of Deputy Minister of Land Reform Bernadus Swartbooi on his recent comments slamming the national resettlement process.
Swartbooi accused his senior, Minister Utoni Nujoma, of resettling people not native to the southern regions in the South at the cost of local groups who remain landless 26 years after independence.
Speaking during a public event at Hoachanas last Saturday, Swartbooi said Nujoma should be “called to order” for mishandling the resettlement programme.
President Hage Geingob subsequently reportedly instructed Swartbooi to apologise to Nujoma.
The party said in a statement on Thursday that Swartbooi had nothing to apologise for, noting that the ruling-party appointee had spoken the truth and brought up points raised by Swanu all along.
“What he said is true and this type of talk should be encouraged. Our President Hage Geingob should also adopt this language,” the party stated.
Swanu said indigenous people of the South were deprived of their land and exploited by all colonial governments, as well as the current Namibian government.
“The Nama people were the first Namibians to take up arms against invading Germans at Hoornkranz, yet they remain the poorest of the poor. All resources of the South are exploited by the northerners,” Swanu claimed, pledging its solidarity with the “suffering” Nama people.
The party further called on the Namibian government to expel German Ambassador, Christian Schlaga and German Special Envoy, Ruprecht Polenz for allegedly holding Swartbooi and other Namibian reparation representatives hostage during talks late last month.
Namibian Special Envoy, Zed Ngavirue should similarly resign from his position, Swanu said, alleging that Ngavirue was being used by the Namibian government “for ulterior motives and not for genuine reparation talks”.
The opposition party’s statement echoes that of a number of Nama traditional leaders voicing their support to Swartbooi in the aftermath of the deputy minister’s public pronouncements.