Youth say Kavango West excluded and underrepresented

09 Aug 2019 10:50am
NKURENKURU, 09 AUG (NAMPA) – The Muzokumwe volunteers organisation says based on evidence, the people from the Kavango West Region are deliberately excluded and underrepresented in national political, economic and employment opportunities.
A representative of the organisation, Paulus Hamutenya made this statement during the Town Hall meeting with President Hage Geingob at Nkurenkuru on Thursday.
“Anyone who disputes this can look at representation in Parliament, Cabinet, senior positions in Government such as in the Namibian Defence Force, Namibian Police Force, Intelligence Service, foreign missions and public enterprises,” he said.
The disparity can also be seen in tender allocations and on the issuing of fishing rights, he added.
Hamuntenya wanted to know from the government what concrete plans and strategies were in place to address these fundamental concerns that have the potential to create disharmony in the country.
He further noted that national data and statistics indicate that the region is the poorest in the country, yet the budget remains the smallest.
“Poverty requires targeted and specific strategies to reverse and turn a situation around. There has been an observed trend from the side of the government to ignore these statistical facts and realities,” he stressed.
Hamutenya called on Geingob’s intervention that regional budgets be allocated as per poverty and socio-economic indicators.
Swapo Party Youth League regional secretary for Kavango West, Lukas Nyumbu also said the region does not get a budget that reflects its challenges.
Nyumbu said the region voted for the ruling party in large numbers in 2014, especially young people as they believed they would get job opportunities.
He too went on to mention that the region is not fairly represented in important decision making positions.
In his response, Geingob said he does not want people voting for him just because they want something in return.
The president said he saw a video going around showing the two Kavango regions as the second-largest voting block and only having two ministers in Cabinet.
“I do not believe in recreating Bantustans,” he remarked.
Geingob said the issue of counting how many ministers come from a certain region or tribe is being instigated by people who want to cause tribal divide.
The Kavango West Region is the youngest in the country, having been created in 2013 when the Kavango Region was split into Kavango East and Kavango West.