RDP launches manifesto

Calls for transparency and democracy

31 October 2019 | Local News

The Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP) launched its 2019 election manifesto at Ongwediva over the past weekend.

The party's secretary for information and publicity Nghiningiluandubo Kashume said the aim of the manifesto was to unite all citizens of the proverbial Namibian house, particularly because of the country's divided history.

“You cannot make progress unless you have the fundamental principles of uniting your people by giving them various national responsibilities. Democracy is not built by one; it is built by many. The unity we want to see is unity where people work together in employment, food production, poverty eradication, education, access to health,” he said.

Kashume said RDP is desirous to see a country where the majority of people are not left behind by a small, rich elite.

“We are looking at establishing a Namibia that can make every Namibian feel that he or she is part of the development project of our nation,” Kashume said.

The party advocates for transparent and democratic principles in all governance systems and institutions, and for broad-based economic development that benefit all citizens.



Governance

The party proposes to cut the size of the National Assembly from 104 seats to 72, and to reduce the ministries to 16.

It says foreign missions should be streamlined to serve only strategic national interests. It further proposes to reduce regional and international trips by state officials.

The party seeks a revision of the 2010 presidential decision that governors be appointed by the president instead of being elected.

Furthermore, it advocates for the separation of powers of the executive, legislature and judiciary.

It says the philosophy of “jobs for comrades” has caused a bloated cabinet and civil service and the recruitment of incompetent and unqualified civil servants, proposing instead a lean and competent governance system.



SOEs

The party says an independent audit ought to be done on all state-owned enterprises (SOEs) to establish their viability, and all should be closely scrutinised with a view to taking corrective measures against those that continue to drain state coffers.



Empowerment

The RDP manifesto states that current empowerment tools are being used as political instruments by the ruling party to channel funds through corrupt means into the pockets of a politically connected elite.

Instead, it states, the practice of “diverting” public funds to “dubious” investors and projects, as was the case with the GIPF DCP, Avid, Tipeeg, and mass housing schemes, must be stopped.

It states that mining and fishing concessions must be allocated transparently and to the benefit of all Namibians.



Defence and security

The RDP says it would guard against the politicisation of the defence and security forces, and ensure that the army and police are highly trained and adequately equipped.

Housing

The RDP considers the housing situation in the country as “extremely dehumanising and unacceptable”, saying shanty towns must be abolished and replaced with decent housing for all.

This it intends to do by drastically reducing the price of land through the provision of serviced land in urban areas and prohibiting the practice of auctioning plots of state land in both urban and rural centres for housing developments.

It says it would establish a competent housing development agency to plan, implement and oversee the execution of the national housing programme.



Industrialisation

The RDP says value addition in minerals, fisheries, pharmaceuticals, agriculture and many more would be the cornerstone of its policy.



Land reform and land ownership

The party says it would recognise all land – including communal land – for qualification as collateral to unlock potential for development throughout Namibia.

It rejects “under all circumstances” the sale of land to foreigners, and says it would treat all needy and eligible Namibians the same for resettlement purposes.



CATHERINE SASMAN