Muharukua unhappy with Politicians not feeding the needy

Martin Endjala

Politicians are failing to deliver on their promises to uplift people’s livelihoods and this has led to many losing faith and trust in their leadership.

These are the sentiments of Popular Democratic Movement Parliamentarian Vipuakuje Muharukua, who maintained in an interview with the Windhoek Observer that people are hungry and without employment.

“There is a concerted feeling that leaders can do much better. We are living in an era where politicians are about overpromising and under-delivering. Namibians are increasingly losing faith in the ability of our democratic order to be the answer to their daily strife and struggles. Because there is no hunger or strife at the houses of politicians, there is no urgency to feed a needy nation,” Muharukua said.

He also suggested that the country needs caring and sincere leaders who will put the people first and restore the hopes and aspirations of Namibians.

Muharukua added that it is up to Namibians to put an end to self-serving leadership.

He called on the government to stop the perpetual selling of dreams that he said are never realized while stressing that people are hungry and that public funds belong to the people who have a right to enjoy the fruit of their country.

Muharukua made the statement after the Executive Director in the Ministry of Gender Equality, Poverty Eradication and Social Welfare, Martha Mbombo said in her budget statement for the 2023/24 financial year that provision has been made to increase the monthly grants for the elderly, people with disabilities as well as for orphans and vulnerable children grant by N$100.

The old age grant and disability grant was supposed to have been increased from N$1 300 to N$1 400 per month as of 1 April 2023, while the orphan and vulnerable children grant increased from N$250 to N$350.

Mbombo said that the appropriation bill is still under consideration in parliament and as a result, the budget for the 2023/24 financial year has not been approved yet.

Therefore, the grant could not take effect as envisaged for the 1st of April 2023.

However, Mbombo told this publication yesterday that there has been positive developments on the increase of social grants, with regard to the enactment of the appropriation bill.

She reaffirmed that the increments will be implemented retrospectively, effective from 1 April 2023.

According to the Ministry of Gender’s Spokesperson, Lukas Haufiku, pension pay-outs will be backdated once the funds are made available from the proclaimed date the increment was to be effective.

“For example, if it’s three or six months, all the grants will be paid,” he said.

According to Haufiku, the adjustments aim to provide better financial support to individuals and families in need. The increased grant amounts reflect the ministry’s ongoing commitment to addressing the welfare of vulnerable groups in our society, Haufiku stressed.

Meanwhile, the World Food Programme has projected 2023 to be another year of extreme stress for those struggling to feed their families.

The scale of the current global hunger and malnutrition crisis is enormous, with more than 345 million people said to be facing high levels of food insecurity in 2023, more than double the number in 2020.

This constitutes a staggering rise of 200 million people compared to pre-COVID-19 pandemic levels. More than 900,000 people worldwide are fighting to survive in catastrophic hunger with just one step away from famine. This is ten times more than five years ago, an alarmingly rapid increase.

WFP emphasised that an immediate response is needed and the global community must not fail in its promise to end hunger and malnutrition by 2030.

The Global Report on Food Crises (GRFC) for 2023 highlights that the number of people experiencing acute food insecurity and requiring urgent food and livelihood assistance is rising.

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