Poverty and corruption thrive in Namibia – Venaani

Nangolo Mbumba
… Mbumba calls for unity among citizens

McHenry Venaani, the leader of the Popular Democratic Movement (PDM), has emphasised Namibia’s ongoing struggles with poverty, inequality, corruption and ‘government mismanagement’ despite 34 years of independence.

This comes as Namibia celebrated its 34th Independence Day at an event attended by over 10 000 people in the Zambezi region at Katima Mulilo yesterday.

“We are confronted with the stark reality that, despite three decades of self-determination, our nation continues to grapple with systemic challenges that should have been addressed long ago.

“This occasion serves as a poignant reminder of the urgent need for transformative leadership and decisive action to address the pressing issues facing our society.

“It is inexcusable that 34 years after gaining independence, Namibia still struggles with poverty, inequality, corruption and government maladministration,” Venaani said in a statement issued yesterday.

He said the fact that many Namibians continue to live in abject poverty while a select few enjoy undue privileges and enrichment is testament to the failure of successive ruling-party governments to prioritise the needs of the people.

Venaani called for urgent action to address these issues and restore public trust.

“As we reflect on our journey as a nation, it is imperative that we acknowledge the shortcomings. The persistent lack of accountability, transparency and effective governance has eroded public trust and undermined the aspirations of our people for a better future,” he said.

Meanwhile, in his keynote address at the event, president Nangolo Mbumba advocated against tribalism, racism, regionalism, corruption and crime.

He urged the country to “not become destroyers of our future and that of coming generations” by being tribalists, racists, regionalists, criminals and corrupt.

“Rather, let us become wise nation builders, pulling together in one direction, to decisively win the second phase of the struggle for economic freedom and shared prosperity of our people,” Mbumba said.

The president warned those seeking to disrupt Namibia’s peace, unity and economic progress against doing so.

“Those who are planning to disturb peace, unity and economic development in Namibia are enemies of all our people. True citizens of Namibia should not support or follow these individuals or groups who have chosen the path of division instead of the path of unity,” he said.

Mbumba called on the security cluster to increase vigilance to safeguard Namibia against external and internal threats.

As Namibia prepares for the polls on 27 November, Mbumba stressed the importance of upholding law and order, ensuring peaceful, credible and fair elections.

“We all have a collective responsibility to ensure that Namibia maintains its reputation as a peaceful and stable country,” he said.

Mbumba said in the past 34 years, Namibia has built itself a proud legacy of democracy, peace, stability and unity in diversity.

“Now we must summon the resolve to forge ahead and together take care of this Namibian House so that it becomes a true home of hope, joy and prosperity for all its citizens and generations to come,” he said.

Mbumba further highlighted the government’s efforts to promote economic growth in the Zambezi region through infrastructure development.

Initiatives include extending electricity lines, upgrading roads and investing in agricultural projects like the Kalimbeza National Rice project and a sugar plantation.

He said these efforts aim to stimulate business opportunities and tourism while improving access to services for communities in the region.
Zambezi region governor Lawrence Sampofu emphasised the importance of unity and economic development for the nation.

“We call upon our youth to use education as a tool to shape a brighter future for today’s generation and generations to come.

“On this occasion, let’s pledge to contribute positively to our country’s economic development and growth,” he said.

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