Swartbooi has no interest in forming political party

08 Feb 2017 17:50pm
ONDEROMBAPA, 08 FEB (NAMPA) – Former Deputy Minister of Land Reform, Bernadus Swartbooi has said he has no intention of forming a political party.
Swartbooi said despite people imploring him to establish his own political organisation, such action will not be in the interest of the ‘land question’.
He made the remarks when he addressed yet another meeting of the Landless People’s Movement, this time at Onderopambapa in the Aminuis Constituency of the Omaheke Region on Tuesday.
He attended and spoke at similar meetings in Keetmanshoop on Saturday and Maltahöhe on Sunday where thousands of landless Namibians met to express their concern.
Swartbooi in December resigned from his ministerial position after he refused to apologise to Land Reform Minister, Utoni Nujoma for having criticised his handling of the ministry’s resettlement programme.
He is said to have made remarks about Nujoma resettling people from the northern regions on native land of the Nama people in the South that was seized by the German colonial regime.
Swartbooi told a crowd of about 500 people he was addressing here that his purpose is to ensure that ancestral land taken by colonisers is returned to its rightful owners.
“We are not here to fight for small seats in Parliament as a political party. The land question is a critical issue; it’s about survival, not scoring political mileage,” he said.
Swartbooi said forming a political party will be a betrayal of the trust many landless Namibians have placed in his cause for a reform in Government’s resettlement programme.
“We will be deviating from our purpose just to appease those voting for us if we form a political party,” he said.
The Landless People’s Movement has vowed to mobilise Namibians sympathetic to its cause across the country to converge on Parliament on 14 February and have their voices heard on their claims to ancestral land.