Swapo million-dollar recipient Gazza blasts opposition

Lazarus Shiimi, better known as Gazza.

Musician Lazarus Shiimi, better known as Gazza, says he is a Swapo child and will not allow himself to be led astray by “Western” parties.

Shiimi was one of two artists who received N$5 million to campaign for Swapo in 2014.

Speaking at a Swapo campaign event at Okahandja last weekend, Shiimi said: “I will die in Swapo.”

He criticised opposition party leaders who he said tour the country only during election years and questioned their absence during times of need.

“They will come from overseas.

We know their faces, but we don’t know what their interests are,” Shiimi, clad in a Swapo T-shirt and scarf, said.

Although Shiimi did not state which party he was referring to, Independent Patriots for Change leader Panduleni Itula two months ago said some Swapo leaders say his party is led by imperialist agents because he studied in the United Kingdom.

Itula argued that some Swapo leaders also studied overseas.

Meanwhile, Shiimi says as it is an election year, opposition leaders are visiting various parts of the country.

“If they don’t have money to help the nation, where did they get the vehicles they are using in their campaigns?”

Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) spokesperson Hidipo Hamata says his party has been actively involved in various projects throughout the year, not just during election periods.

He says PDM donated water tanks and opened water taps in the Kavango regions.

“The party has also contributed to healthcare by donating a clinic, demonstrating a consistent commitment to public services. These activities reflect our ongoing efforts to support and uplift communities beyond election cycles,” Hamata says.

He says PDM urges Shiimi to focus on positive contributions, such as educating the youth on the importance of voting and understanding the value of having multiple political parties in a democracy.

“We also encourage him to mobilise the masses to support PDM, as a diverse political landscape strengthens our democracy and ensures that various voices and perspectives are heard,” he says.

Political analyst Rui Tyitende says Shiimi is not well informed about the role and scope of opposition parties.

“He is an artist and should steer clear of making political statements that will make people think he does not apply his mind when speaking,” Tyitende says.

Former parliamentarian Mike Kavekotora says Gazza must stick to music.

He says Gazza, and by association Swapo, must inform the public of a single government project where they used their resources to provide services to the public.

“Since when has public money become Swapo money? Gazza must tell the public which roads, water and drought relief were funded by Swapo?

“Voters know that contrary to Gaza’s assertion, Swapo is responsible for creating poverty in a rich country endowed with all natural resources imaginable,” he says.

United Democratic Front spokesperson Mabasen //Narib says it is not true that opposition parties disappear after elections.

He says they are tabling motions and asking questions in the parliament.

“They are holding the government accountable. Opposition parties should not be reduced, ridiculed and politically slapped.”

//Narib says Swapo should not boast about providing water, roads and drought relief food as those are basic things that any governing party should provide.

He says Swapo should have done better, but it has failed dismally.

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