WINDHOEK- A senior official from the Swapo headquarters has confirmed that confidential files, including notes and minutes from the ruling party’s last Central Committee and Politburo meetings, were among the items stolen during last weekend’s burglary.
Swapo’s Director for Administration Hamunyera Hambyuka said his work laptop, and another one belonging to the personal assistant of Swapo Secretary General, Nangolo Mbumba, were stolen as well.
The break-in was facilitated by the failure to have an alarm system installed at the ruling party’s head offices, after thieves apparently overpowered the security guards on duty. It is feared that the break-in was politically inspired, but both Mbumba and Hambyuka were careful not to fuel the speculation just yet.
Hambyuka confirmed that the ruling party had no alarm installed at its headquarters, adding that the company it had chosen to install the alarm took “too long” to approve its application.
The thieves also managed to flee with cameras, a TV set, about N$18 000 in cash and souvenirs.
But with national elections only four months away and the party’s electoral college slated for later this month, concern is growing about the confidential files that were stolen and a laptop containing information from past Central Committee and Politburo meetings.
The well-calculated thievery was executed while most of the party’s top brass were in the north attending a campaign for yesterday’s by-election for Ohangwena Constituency. Hambyuka said: “The offices are too big to be without an alarm, but these things can happen even in places where there are alarms.”
All the offices on the upper level of the headquarters such as that of the secretary general, economic affairs and administration were ransacked, he said.
According to Hambyuka offices on the ground level such as that of the Swapo Party Youth League, Elders Council and Women’s Council were not burgled.
“My office was the most affected because they took my laptop and that of my secretary. They also took the laptop of the secretary general’s secretary. My laptop contains information that we used during the CC and Politburo meetings,” he said.
Hambyuka said the robbers also stole N$18 000 from the finance office and burned cheque books that were in the office.
In the secretary general’s office, they took his TV set and cut the safe to pieces.
Other items which the burglars fled with include car keys, digital cameras, party regalia and souvenirs that were on sale at the headquarters.
Mbumba yesterday told New Era that party officials would take stock to see what had been stolen before making the entire losses - both monetary and material - public.
Namibian Police Inspector General, Lieutenant General Sebastian Ndeitunga, described the incident as “serious”.
“I hope this did not happen because we are in an election year, but one never knows. We are therefore calling on the public to come forward with information which can lead to the arrest of the culprits,” he said.
By Mathias Haufiku"