Old guard must go and rest - Ipinge

28 October 2020 | Politics

JEMIMA BEUKES

WINDHOEK

Walvis Bay Urban constituency councillor Knowledge Ipinge, who is vying to retain his seat in the upcoming local and regional authority elections, says it is time for so-called old guard politicians to rest, so youth can take over and inject the necessary innovation and energy.

“We highly appreciate the efforts of the old guard, but the time has finally come for them to go rest, so that those of us with innovations and energy can steer the ship into the right direction,” he said.

Dissatisfaction among the country's youth is the major driving force behind political formations such as the Affirmative Repositioning movement and independent candidates standing for elections.

Namibia has seen a shift in the political arena, with 93 independent candidates standing for election in November's regional and local authority polls.

Ipinge said one of the reasons so many youth leaders are taking up the challenge to run for public office is the lack of a viable strategy

According to Ipinge, since the reintegration of Walvis Bay, meaningful ideas came out in visions, documents and policies, but ended up gathering dust on paper because they have not been implemented.



'No viable strategy'

“If one looks at it from a Walvis Bay lens, there's currently no viable strategy in place to add value to our biggest resources such as our fish and, most notably, the recent auction failure of fishing quotas confirmed this fact, despite the existence of the Growth at Home industrial policy implementation strategy. We haven't seen any form of economic transformation interventions to date,” Ipinge said.

He said the objective of the Harambee Prosperity Plan was to transform Namibia into the most competitive economy in Africa by 2020, but “those responsible to implement have failed significantly”.



Lack of good governance

Duminga Ndala of the Landless People's Movement (LPM), who is contesting in the John Pandeni constituency, said she believes the fundamental issue has to do with the lack of good governance, and that government has failed to adequately deliver services to its people.

She added that youth dissatisfaction is partly rooted in the fact that 30 years post-independence the land question has not been addressed, as people are still landless and don't have a place to call home.

“Fundamental basic needs have not been met, such as providing adequate health, electrifying informal settings, providing quality and free education, providing adequate housing. Namibia has a 300 000-unit housing backlog.

“[There is] mismanagement of government funds. We have witnessed a trend of missing money and there has been no track record of money being traced - the SME Bank, the Government Institutions Pension Fund, Social Security… This trajectory has only benefited a certain section of the population, giving birth to what we call the black elites,” she said.



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