Former SWAPO Member of Parliament and Deputy Minister of Land Reform, Bernadus Swartbooi, has taken a swipe at the ruling party, labelling its leaders as corrupt.
With particular reference to the missing SME Bank millions and the Electronic Voting Machines (EVM), which he said were used to rig the 2014 National Assembly and Presidential elections, Swartbooi said corruption is part of SWAPO’s DNA.
Swartbooi said this when he announced his resignation from the ruling party on Thursday after he was recalled from Parliament on Wednesday.
He threatened to expose SWAPO’s corruption during his emotive resignation speech at a press conference at Commando Hall in Katutura, which was attended by many anti-Geingob supporters, including opposition leaders and the Affirmative Repositioning members.
“When you look at the depth of corruption in this country, I tell you because the streets are clean, because the lights go on when you switch them on, because the tap has water when you turn it on, Namibians often think that this country is well-governed, but we are in a crisis of corruption.
“People are building N$30 million houses on farms, buying houses in Dubai, going to get prostitutes in Thailand that is how money is being used. Is it what was fought for when leaders keep taking through corruption?” Swartbooi said.
He reiterated that by recalling him, SWAPO had given him the freedom and ammunition he needed to protest and expose corruption within the ruling party.
“It is not a sad moment for me. If I could take out my heart and show you the extent of freedom I feel and if you could be shown the pictures that indicate how peacefully I slept after I had been recalled, you would be surprised.
“I want to thank the dictators of SWAPO Party for granting us the freedom by pulling us out of Parliament so that we are able to do the work of protest even more sharper and publicly, so that we can engage in a robust process through which we will expose their corrupt deeds and expose their networks and say to the Namibian people every day from now on until the next elections and beyond that there is no place for the corrupt nincompoop and incapable leadership that has bankrupted the country,” Swartbooi said.
He accused SWAPO of continued looting that is robbing the future generation of its inheritance.
“We are at a crossroads really, how do we as Namibians reconcile ourselves with a continued bankruptcy of the State, as a result of clear, visible and tangible actions taken by the few.
“How do we reconcile ourselves by supporting a regime that clearly is eating away from the future of our children and of our grandchildren? How do we reconcile ourselves as citizens in supporting a regime that is taking from our children and grandchildren’s future and they are just growing everyday in arrogance and they do not care,” he said.
He zeroed in on SWAPO Party structures and leadership, accusing the leadership of selfishness, saying they lacked the capacity to objectively engage society on the concerns that they have, primarily because they are consumed by greed, materialism and corruption.
In his view, many people who want to become part of SWAPO are doing so because they have seen that there is something to gain.
“That is why you see in SWAPO Party structures, whether it is at district or regional level, the police have to come to stop people from killing each other because everyone has begun to realise that the way to get into prosperity is through structures, that you can access the State and not to transform society, but to access resources by whatever means necessary and to enrich yourself.
“That is why the context for politics within SWAPO is not on ideological basis, but is on the basis that I need to get in here as soon as possible so that I can access resources no matter what,” he said.
SWAPO Party Secretary General Nangolo Mbumba announced this week that the party had resolved to recall Swartbooi from Parliament.
In a statement issued on Wednesday, Mbumba said the reasons for removing Swartbooi from Parliament were self-evident, referring to Swartbooi’s comments and general attitude expressed in public towards the party, “its functionaries and government on diverse occasions”.
Swartbooi last weekend said the party was only taking care of the interests of one ethnic group, and that people from the north had no right to lecture other people about ancestral land rights.
Swartbooi was also quoted as saying he was 99,9 percent not a SWAPO member, and that he was going to resign in 30 seconds if and when the party withdrew his membership from the National Assembly.