Deputy leader and chief strategist of the Landless People’s Movement (LPM), Henny Seibeb,
believes the ruling SWAPO Party has run out of ideas and that the National Assembly is full of people who lack any leadership qualities.
Seibeb made the remarks in an exclusive interview with the Windhoek Observer this week, in which he said Namibia needs a political party like LPM to address some of the issues plaguing the country.
The movement recently announced that it will officially be registered as a political party by the end of February.
It was formed by Seibeb and former Lands Reform Deputy Minister, Bernadus Swartbooi, to initially address the land question in the country.
In the interview this week, Seibeb accused SWAPO of making false promises to the electorate over the last 27 years.
“After every five years, SWAPO will come and say we are addressing the land issue and immediately after the elections, they will forget about land. That’s the game they have been playing, so people are saying they need representation in Parliament and at community level from people who can address the land question as well as various other issues.
“To fill the gap, we thought of getting into politics and compete with SWAPO because it has run out of ideas,” Seibeb said.
The businessman and former SWAPO employee charged that the ruling party has been infiltrated by yes men and women who mostly sing for their supper.
“If you look at their Politburo now, only one or two people have brains, in our assessment. Calle Schlettwein and maybe Professor Peter Katjavivi. People like Lucia Witbooi, Hilma Nikanor, what will they offer? No brains.
“And the new secretary general, Sophia Shaningwa, the broomstick, what will she offer?
“We feel that Namibia is in a leadership crisis; moral and ethical leadership is no longer with the former liberation movement. SWAPO has been taken over by nincompoops without the capacity to think and it shows that they are tired actually. So, leadership has become an issue of patronage; you support me, I reward you.”
Seibeb also expressed his reservation at President Hage Geingob’s sincerity when it comes to having an efficient administration.
He said the president had requested CVs from professionals, but later ignored those qualified and experienced when he made his appointments to public office.
“He goes more for nincompoops that can only agree with whatever he [says] - the yes men and yes women. How many skilled people are there in Namibia and yet you are appointing somebody who does not even have a Grade 12 certificate? That’s an insult to students that are studying public administration. We are not serious about development and about leadership.”
When asked what the LPM will do differently from the other political parties that have challenged SWAPO before and lost, Seibeb said they will warm people’s hearts by regaining their self-worth.
He said LPM plans to restore people’s dignity by fighting poverty, unemployment and inequality.
“The most critical one is to restore our human dignity. We feel that for the past 27 years, people’s dignity has been stripped off them. They have been made to look like slaves in their own country.
“For example, poverty is at high levels, unemployment is high, inequality - although statistics say is narrowing - is still high, especially amongst the rural African women. So those are the main things, but the most critical one is to fight corruption.
“We don’t tolerate corruption. If you are found to be on the other side like ‘Mr swimming pool’ (Tobie Aupindi), you will not even make it into the party’s leadership.”
Seibeb further said the new party will continue to fight for land restitution and fighting the elites who are grabbing land in urban areas at the expense of the masses.
“Restore land to those who lost it at the hands of imperial German and apartheid South Africa.
“Give communal farmers more loans, so that they can better their farming, so that we transition from small- and medium-scale farming on smallholder farms into commercial farming; that’s our aim.”