The Office of the Founding President Sam Nujoma has branded the behaviour of Landless People’s Movement (LPM) members in the National Assembly this week as “unpatriotic and cowardly” after party leader Bernadus Swartbooi labelled the retired statesman a thug and liar.
“The Office of the Founding President finds these invectives and insults towards the Founding Father un-parliamentary, unpatriotic and cowardly in nature attacking an elder statesman when he cannot defend himself in parliament.
Similarly, the Office of the Founding President finds this unwarranted onslaught towards the Founding President highly provocative and disturbing the peace and stability in our country,” the office said in a statement yesterday.
“Those who are bent on vilifying our Founding President should remember that he was the architect of our cherished Policy of National Reconciliation and it is thanks to his leadership acumen and mentoring abilities that some of these novices found their way into politics and were wheelbarrowed into the structures of the SPYL when the Founding President insisted on a demographic representation to accommodate all our people in the leadership structures of the country without regard to colour, race, tribe or ethnic origin.”
Swartbooi lashed out in the National Assembly on Tuesday by labelling the Founding President a thug and liar during the discussion on the national reconciliation policy, which was moved by Swanu leader Tangeni Iijambo.
“While we do not know what the motives behind this bad-mouthing is, one thing this group should know is that Dr Nujoma has come a long way. In the crucible of the struggle, Dr Nujoma survived many onslaughts, directly and indirectly, orchestrated by the well-resourced and heinous apartheid regime of South Africa,” read the statement.
“The minority apartheid regime spent millions of dollars not only to tarnish his hard-earned reputation by casting aspersions on his person, but by also trying by all means to end his life prematurely. But despite all the resources at its disposal, the minority apartheid regime failed dismally.”
The Sam Nujoma Foundation yesterday also expressed outrage against “shocking utterances” made towards the country’s first democratically elected president.
“It should be noted that according to the rules of the House, a member of the National Assembly may not talk about an individual who is not in a position to defend him or herself,” said the foundation’s chairperson and former Prime Minister Nahas Angula.
“In this regard, the House of honour must always be dignified and respected for future generations to emulate. All rules of the House have been put in place to ensure that members engage in robust debate in a honourable manner. As such, these disturbing insults and uncultured accusations levelled against the leader of the Namibian revolution are counter-productive, counter-revolutionary and do not display the spirit of nationhood and cannot be left unchallenged.”
SPYL joins fray
Meanwhile, the Swapo Party Youth League (SPYL) also condemned the conduct of the LPM leaders, saying opposition MPs, trying to score cheap political points, cannot distort the legacy of Nujoma.
“Thus, SPYL is hereby condemning the conduct of LPM members of parliament who have disregard of the Founding President by calling him a “thug, liar and a loser”. Under no circumstances shall we trade the dignity and respect for elders over political pressure and instant fame. Such mischievous acts should be condemned with all the contempt it deserves by all peace-loving Namibians,” read the statement.
The two LPM leaders, Swartbooi and Henny Seibeb were on Wednesday slapped with a verbal warning by National Assembly Speaker Peter Katjavivi, who not only reprimanded the opposition members, but also other MPs using unbecoming language in the August House.