Swapo vice-president Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah has condemned in strongest terms the latest insults hurled at President Hage Geingob saying that such insults are aimed inciting public hatred, tribalism, hostility and violence against the President.
Singling out the case of Michael Amushelelo who in a widely circulated video on social media is heard referring to Geingob as a “dog”, Nandi-Ndaitwah said such demeaning utterances does not only betray common cultural heritage but constitute a criminal offence of crimen injuria in terms of common law, and under human rights norm.
Self-described foreign currency trader Amushelelo is currently on bail following his arrest late last year for his alleged involvement in money laundering to the tune of N$17 million.
“As a mother, an elder, national leader, vice president of Swapo, I condemn in the strongest possible terms the videos and audios of a vulgar and distasteful language circulating in the social media,” Nandi-Ndaitwah said in a statement yesterday.
“Time is now when political leaders and activists must guide their supporters, to uphold moral behaviours in conduct of their political activities,” she said.
“Insults, instigations should have no room in our democracy,” she said, adding that a nation without strong moral values cannot flourish in all aspects of development.
She said moral values and behaviors are not based on law, but are inborn traits that are shaped as one grows up and develops as a member of the community and society.
“That is what makes nations around the world and Namibia cannot be exception,” she said.
She said in every human interaction, including politics there is a limit on how far one can go in relating to other political players.
“What we are experiencing now in Namibia especially among some of the young people is off limit. It is unacceptable for anyone to refer to others, let alone a head of state as a ‘dog’”, she said.
Reacting to the widely circulating video of Amushelelo, police inspector-general, Sebastian Ndeitunga called on citizens, especially organisers of public gatherings to sensitise their members that “in as much as they have an agenda to advance, to not infringe on other people’s rights”.
In an interview with Nampa on Sunday, Ndeitunga also urged the public to refrain from insulting elders at public gatherings.
“To me it’s an abuse of freedom of expression and it is indeed against the African culture and tradition,” Ndeitunga said.
He added that the constitution does not give anyone the freedom to violate the dignity of any individual, irrespective of their status in society, or political or economic inclination.
“The president of the country is allowed to be criticised if he is not doing well on what the majority of the country expect of him, but he does not deserve to be insulted and ridiculed. Where the law can take its course, the police will explore all the avenues that are guaranteed by law to see if the people that insulted the president can be made responsible for their statement,” he noted.
Ndeitunga said that criticism is allowed, especially if there is no performance because that is the duty of leaders, but respect should be accorded, because all people are entitled to basic human rights and freedoms.