Police chief Sebastian Ndeitunga has cautioned political parties to avoid political violence ahead of what is considered tense regional council and local authority elections. The much-anticipated elections are scheduled for 25 November.
Over the weekend, a video clip went viral after Swapo and Independent Patriots for Change (IPC) supporters clashed at Opuwo, including blocking roads with rocks. In a brief interview with New Era yesterday, Ndeitunga said Namibia was renowned for its peace and democracy.
“It will be embarrassing if we campaign immaturely during elections. Democracy doesn’t mean chaos and anarchy. It should be an orderly process guided by the rule of law and they should respectfully advance their political programmes but not incite violence,” he said.
He continued that it is unlawful for anyone to create threats to those exercising their freedom of speech, freedom of choice and freedom of movement. According to him, all political parties should sensitise their members and followers to tolerate, and respect other parties during election campaigns.
“It is unacceptable if political parties are ridiculing others. It is not a mature campaign. People should freely express their choice and assemble for their campaign. By involving in motivating public violence, it will be difficult for the police and themselves in maintaining law, peace and security of our country,” Ndeitunga said.
Moreover, he said, the police will continue to urge political parties to avoid physical confrontations and supporters should respect each other while calling on everyone to abide by the code of conduct that guides them during political campaigns. Thus far, the police did not register cases related to political violence since the campaigns started.
Campaign peacefully… Police chief Sebastian Ndeitunga.