IPC labels Nandi-Ndaitwah’s hope to increase pension as political opportunism

Stefanus Nashama

The Independent Patriots for Change (IPC) believes that Vice President Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah’s proposal to increase the old-age pension to N$3 000, as proposed by the late President Hage Geingob, seems to be more about political opportunism than genuine concern for the elderly.

Over the weekend, Nandi-Ndaitwah announced her plans at the Hage Geingob Memorial Lecture in Ongwediva.

She said that if elected into power at the upcoming presidential and national assembly elections, she would fulfil President Geingob’s wish to increase the old-age pension.

“You will agree with me that it is not easy to double the old-age grant during a period of economic contraction. Yet, President Geingob did exactly that in 2016, when we doubled the old-age pension from N$600 to N$1200. If elected President of the Republic of Namibia, I commit to fulfilling the wish of President Geingob to increase the old-age pension to N$3 000,” she stated.

In a statement released on Monday, the IPC executive for finance, Frans Taapopi, said the proposal needs to be scrutinised.

“The vice president’s proposal to raise the old-age pension to N$3 000 is undoubtedly a welcome proposal for the more than 200 000 pensioners. It is, however, imperative to scrutinise the feasibility of this plan. The proposed increase would escalate the annual expenditure on pensions to approximately N$10.1 billion, a substantial rise from the current cost of N$4.8 billion,” he said.

According to Taapopi, the vice president failed to inform the electorate of the source of funding for this increase.

“The SWAPO administration loses hundreds of millions of Namibian dollars annually through corruption with no accountability. This, notwithstanding N$1 billion lost annually through money laundering,” he stated.

Taapopi added that the nation should have policies based on reality, not on electioneering tactics aimed at winning votes.

He also emphasised that Nandi-Ndaitwah is part of the government, while finance minister, Iipumbu Shiimi declared that such an increase was not feasible.

“The VPs sudden change of heart, coinciding with her candidacy in an election year, raises serious questions about her integrity and commitment to realistic governance. If she truly believed in honouring the late President Hage Geingob’s vision of increasing the pension to N$3 000, she had ample opportunity to advocate for it when it mattered. Instead, only the opposition members protested in favour of the increase, leaving the Vice President silent until now,” he stressed.

Taapopi disagrees with the vice president, stating that the administration has failed to create jobs for the youth and has added a burden to the pensioners.

“The social services sector is falling apart, school infrastructure is dilapidated, there is no medicine in health facilities, and graduates are unemployed on the streets. All of these are manifestations of a failed administration, an administration the VP of SWAPO has been an executive member of for the past 34 years,” he emphasised.

Taapopi urged politicians to be accurate and unbiased when informing the public about their election promises, particularly targeting the elderly and unemployed youth.

“We remain committed to championing policies that benefit all Namibians and will continue to hold the government accountable for transparent and responsible governance,” he mentioned.

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