Manifestos vague on thorny issues

21 October 2019 | Columns

Swapo has been criticised for its perceived 'half-baked' manifesto, but the opposition has not really done better either.

A lot of desperate lies are being told in these manifestos, which we find very disrespectful. To simply say, for example, that informal settlement dwellers will receive free land from an LPM government is not enough - if realistic.

This promise doesn't say how the party would negotiate its way past the laws guarding access to land, nor does it beam light on the issue of financial and other resources required to make such a dream come true. It reminds us very much of the absurd promise of Donald Trump to build a wall barring Mexicans from illegally entering the USA. Not a single brick has been placed on top of the other in this regard, with Trump's tenure having entered the evening of its life.

Nudo too plans to abolish shacks and restore the dignity of the underprivileged in society, by providing them with land and decent housing – a noble deed, if pulled off.

But again, the party does not say what 'decent housing' is in its own definition and the model it would adopt to have every citizen decently housed. Perhaps the bigger omission in all this is how the party will secure the funds required to deliver on its promise, especially knowing it will potentially take over a broke government.

If any of the parties - Swapo included - were serious about jobs, they would have taken decisive action when more than 1 000 seamen were fired for demanding better working conditions in Walvis Bay.

The PDM made a few noises about the matter, and as expected, went silent quickly thereafter. We have no recollection of any other party having even written to the trigger-happy employers to reconsider their stance.

The top brass of Namibian politicians have shares in fishing companies and it leaves little to the imagination as to why they never acted in the matter.

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