The Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) has called on the government to be caring at all times and not wait for tragedy to happen.

This was said by the party's Secretary-General Manuel Karingombe when he visited the bereaved Kangungu family, which lost 16 family members due to suspected food poisoning.

The party donated food items to the family.

"And the only way for you to know that a country is taking care of its people is when a country is providing basic necessities to its people. Namibians don't need a lot. Namibians need basics like water to drink clean tap water from their houses. Namibians need shelter—a very decent shelter over their heads. At the end of the day, Namibians need a decent meal on their table. This is a shame to me and many other politicians in this country to have such a situation happen in this village."

PDM's Secretary General says this incident is a wake-up call to all political leaders and those who are in indirect leadership positions in government.

He says if there had been food security in the Kangungu household, the country would not have witnessed the loss of 16 lives due to poverty.

Karingombe calls on the head of state to declare an emergency in the Kavango East Region to save the needy people.

"Politicians, we must be ashamed to go and ask for votes, and once we get the votes, we forget these people that are voting for us. Let's stand for the people. Let's save our people. And we call upon the Head of State to also call an emergency in the Kavango East Region and start to look at the many families that are suffering and that are poverty-stricken."

Member of Parliament Nico Smith says this year the country will face drought and famine in some parts of the country.

He says the government should provide food to those in need as soon as possible and not wait for tragedy to attend to its people's needs.

"Throughout the whole country, we are facing drought; actually, in some areas, we will have famine, and we even called upon the government to make arrangements well in advance to supply food to those who are in need and not to wait until people first die before they start to help those in need."

Of the 24 family members, 16 have died; seven are in stable condition, and one is under medical care at the Rundu State Hospital.

At the moment, there are no directions for funeral arrangements.



Elizabeth Mwengo