by Sakeus Iikela
LANDLESS People’s Movement (LPM) leader Bernadus Swartbooi this weekend said there appears to be a well-coordinated agenda to paint his party as being tribalist.
This, he said, is because people have now realised the party wants to affect change.
Swartbooi made these remarks on Saturday at an LPM youth workshop in Windhoek.
Swartbooi said this agenda is perpetuated by the media and other political players to weaken his party.
As a result, the LPM leader said, even people whose interests resonate with his party’s agenda are discouraged from joining, “because they are told this is not your home, this is the home of those who look like Utaara only”.
Swartbooi questioned why other relatively tribally dominated political parties are not asked whether they are tribally oriented.
He said there have been movements founded by people of the same language group, as well as political parties that are substructures of Swapo, but “they will never be asked the question of tribalism”.
“There is a party that is a spokesperson and a side chick of Swapo. They are never asked this question. There is another party that is one of the oldest with just one ethnic group from the east . . . no questions asked.
“But those who want to make changes need to be fought with something dirty. They need to be labelled as tribal so that people’s social consciousness is affected and so that they are deterred,” he said.
Swartbooi therefore urged the LPM youth to avoid thinking their party was established to suit a tribal agenda, and to read more to broaden their perspectives.
“This party is not about one or two tribes, but about all of us,” he said.