Official opposition party withdraws from planned 2nd Land Conference
The Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) withdrew from the planned 2nd National Land Conference, Party leader McHenry Venaani said at a press conference on 27 September.
Venaani said the party’s reason for pulling out stems from various issues, from allegations that the outcome is of the conference is pre-determined, the 10 minute allocation to participants, omission of some traditional leaders, among others.
Venaani stressed that government’s refusal to release the list of resettlement beneficiaries creates unwarranted suspicions, and undermines the fundamental ethos of transparency, and accountability, which President Hage Geingob repeatedly emphasised as key values of his administration.
“It further deprives participants the right of informed consent, to have a constructive, and meaningful contribution to the debate lacking in the facts on that list. It further erodes confidence, and trust in Govt engagements or operations which as the Official Opposition are mandated to provide the required checks and balances. We as the Official Opposition, find it extremely difficult to render our co-operation to such an activity,” Venaani said.
He further alleged that there are leaked documents with predetermined resolutions and outcome of the Conference, adding that this dissipates any chance for democratic fruitful contributions to the resolution of the Land Question.
“The time limits allocated to participants to present their contributions to this most fundamental question of our democracy and governance is constipating of our intellectual dispositions to the Land Conference. Government’s unilateral approach to the organisation of the entire Land Conference again constraints substantive participation rendering our presence as mere rubber stamp legitimising an ill-conceived Conference,” Venaani said.
He also added that the nonchalant attitude of government to invite people as they please initially omitting the Baster Traditional leadership is an insult.
“Therefore, I announce under the power vested in me as the President of the movement and empowered by its constitution under article 18.104.22.168, that the Popular Democratic Movement shall not be party to a conference of whose outcome is pre-determined and now we must be used to legitimize outcomes that are pre-determined,” Venaani said.
The 2nd Land Conference is scheduled for 1 to 5 October.