The SWAPO-led Government’s refusal to have a public and open discussion on the number and names of people who have been resettled since independence ‘smells’ of fraud, SWANU MP, Usutuaije Maamberua, has claimed.
Maamberua said this on Tuesday, when he unsuccessfully tried to table a motion in Parliament, demanding that Government discuss the resettlement policy in the National Assembly.
His attempt was blocked for the second time by Land Reform Minister, Utoni Nujoma, who was backed by SWAPO MPs.
Maamberua’s first motion was in June this year.
“SWAPO and its Government do not want a public and open discussion on people who have been resettled since independence because a lot of hidden things will be revealed.
“I suspect and believe that there have been a lot of fraudulent transactions with regard to the resettlement process over the years, and that is why they are refusing to provide Parliament with the list of those that have been resettled.
Maamberua said the SWAPO-led Government is embarrassing the Namibian nation by trying to ‘hide’ the resettlement list from the public.
“The land conference is now postponed, no exact date is given, no venue, and no indication of anything. So why don’t they just release the list? What does the list has to do with the land conference? The list will help us understand what transpired with programmes that got funded with public money.
“It is not the only thing we want to enquire about, we want to talk about the resettlement programme in its broader aspects, with all its different transactions, implementation, criteria being used, the policy issues regarding it and the whole scheme of it. So this is our oversight function, and it is from that point of view that I requested that we discuss the matter.
“I am not saying that this information should be provided to me as an individual, I said this is an oversight responsibility of the National Assembly, but Government is refusing to allow a discussion on the resettlement policy as a public interest matter,”Maamberua said.
The highly-anticipated land conference was supposed to take place at the end of August, but was postponed after President Hage Geingob announced that broader consultation is still needed.
The land conference was initially slated for 2016.
Maamberua accused Nujoma of giving flimsy excuses to block the discussion on the resettlement policy.
“His (Nujoma) opposition to my motion is evidence enough that he is hiding things. He cited two reasons why the matter should not be discussed. One is that “the conference will take place soon,” and the other is that “he is tabling the Land Bill.” Those are flimsy excuses, and that means that he is hiding things. It’s not just him, but the whole Government.
“They have caucused and agreed that they are just going to hide it, it’s a collective guilt that they are displaying and it’s clear that a lot of wrong things such as nepotism and corrupt transactions have happened, unless they come out and prove the public opinion otherwise,”Maamberua said.