PDM unhappy about 10 minute speaking slot at land conference

25 Sep 2018 16:30pm
WINDHOEK, 25 SEP (NAMPA) – The Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) has objected to the 10 minutes allocated to it to present its position paper at the upcoming land conference.
PDM leader, McHenry Venaani voiced the concern at a media conference on Tuesday, where he said their initial time slot on the opening day of the land conference was 30 minutes, but it was changed to 10 minutes according to their invitation dated 24 September 2018.
“I was told Venaani is only allowed to speak for 10 minutes and it is only the ruling party [Swapo] that will speak for 20 minutes,” he said.
PDM premised its objection on the grounds of parliamentary rules that give both the Prime Minister and the leader of the official opposition unlimited speaking time during debates in the National Assembly.
“We are not demanding unlimited time at the conference. We are saying, why change from 30 minutes to 10? It’s because the ruling party wants a predetermined outcome,” he said.
The politician claimed that his time was deliberately cut short as organisers fear that if given ample time, he will unearth sensitive issues “that they don’t want to come out”.
“What kind of a conference invites people and does not give the right to hear the minority?” he said.
Venaani then slammed the Swapo Party Elders’ Council (SPEC) for the utterances it made that resolutions stemming from ancestral land debates should not be implemented, amid fears that it will lead to a civil war.
The elders’ council made the utterances last week.
Venaani described SPEC’s position as hypocritical, considering the fact the Namibian Government is seeking atonement from Germany for the 1904-1908 genocide.
“You want the German government to atone…to pay for lives lost and to pay for land dispossession or livestock lost. When you are negotiating for a foreign government, that is not tribalism.
“But when the same people say we have lost land, are saying their land claims should be addressed, you are telling us no, that is tribalism. So why should Germany pay for tribalistic purposes?” he questioned.
The land conference takes place on 01 to 05 October.
(NAMPA)
MEM/EK/AS