Former Land Reform Deputy Minister, Bernadus Swartbooi, has reacted strongly to last week’s Windhoek Observer article in which Erongo Regional Governor, Cleophas Mutjavikua, was quoted as saying Namibian people need jobs, more than land.
In an interview with the Windhoek Observer this week, Swartbooi, who now leads the Landless People’s Movement (LPM), said Mutjavikua should ‘shut up’, as he does not have the right to speak on behalf of the Namibian people.
Speaking in Windhoek on Wednesday last week at a gala dinner organised by the Namsov Community Trust as part of the Governors Regional Development Program, Mutjavikua said having land is not the most important thing.
“The most important is employment creation for our people. People must understand that owning a house means that you must be able to financially sustain it. There are bills, such as water and electricity that need to be paid.
“The government cannot afford to employ as many people as it did in the past….this has caused many of our people to be jobless,” Mutjavikua said last week.
These comments angered Swartbooi who said it is shocking to hear the Governor declare in public without solid evidence that people don’t need land urgently and that they need jobs more.
“This is the same governor who knows very well that the government he represents has failed those who are on the land reform list for urban and agricultural land.
“In the region he represents, about 4,000 fishermen were fired by 24 fishing companies. If jobs were so important, why does this opinion that he now holds not drive him sufficiently to a point that he could restore these jobs? Why has he not done it?” Swartbooi quizzed.
The firebrand politician said in a more democratic party, Mutjavikua should have been disciplined, fired or warned because of his utterances.
“But Mutjavikua’s party and government have become organisations of looters and thieves. It has not done enough to secure the scores of jobs that they said they would create, they have failed that.
“Now he wants Namibians to be denied the opportunity to have land, which is a means of production that will improve their lives.
“If he has nothing to say, he must say nothing and sit down. Mutjavikua has a farm, he has a house that stands on land, he has business interests and he has a job, so why does he own things that he believes the rest of Namibians do not need? Why does he not give them away to homeless people and charities if they are not so important?
“All they do is go on trips country-to-country, but have no capacity to build the Namibian economy. SWAPO leaders have bankrupted this country, they have run it down into a sh*thole country, they must not lie to the Namibian people, this catastrophic government must sit down.”
Swartbooi further said Mutjavikua’s statements grossly disrespects the graves of Namibian ancestors and forefathers who fought hard for the land.
He said the Landless People’s Movement will restore the dignity of the people when they win elections in 2019.
“Mutjavikua is ejaculating on the graves of those who suffered and sacrificed for the peace we enjoy today. He is ejaculating on the graves of our ancestors. He is ejaculating on the graves of Hendrick Witbooi, Samuel Maharero and everyone that suffered and sacrificed.
“But because he belongs to a government of Huage (Jack Huang and Hage), nothing will be done to him. Nothing ever happens to people like that in this country. Once you are seen as corrupt, then you are just moved, ”Swartbooi said.
Responding to Swartbooi’s comments, Mutjavikua said he was misquoted in last week’s article and that Swartbooi is just talking to earn votes to his “dying programme.”
“I did not use ‘no land’. Erongo Region is the only region in Namibia that has land delivery programs. What I said was that it’s important that we create jobs to service land.
“If you don’t have a job, how are you going to service the land; now you have to ask people to connect for you water and so on. The elephant in the room is employment creation, that way we will have more opportunity to utilise the land.
“Swartbooi is just talking because he wants votes from people for his campaign. That program will die just like the others. Even in his own region, we carried out job creation there,” Mutjavikua said.