Swapo’s chief whip in the National Assembly, Hambyuka Hamunyera has dismissed insinuations that his party’s members of parliament are scared of the Landless People’s Movement legislators, saying they are ready to engage in robust debates, not insults.
National Assembly Speaker Peter Katjavivi in court papers in April said MPs said they fear for their safety because of the behaviour of the LPM parliamentarians.
He said this in response to an urgent application filed against him by LPM MPs Bernadus Swartbooi and Henny Seibeb after the duo was thrown out of parliament during President Hage Geingob’s state of the nation address and later suspended.
The Supreme Court has since ruled in their favour, paving way for their return to the August House next month.
The LPM leaders have claimed that their suspension from parliament was because Swapo MPs are scared to engage them in debates.
However, Hamunyera yesterday shot down these assertions, saying Swapo MPs are disciplined, therefore, they can only engage in progressive debates that promote nation-building. “We are forever ready to engage any MP in robust debates but not insults or fights. We are grown men and women. Our aim is to make laws not to fight. As it stands now, we have not implemented any laws since the beginning of the parliamentary session,” Hamunyera said. Addressing the media on Wednesday, Seibeb vowed to return to parliament with renewed vigour. “We hope to see Honourable Piet Kat [Peter Katjavivi] on 1 September in parliament. I know they wanted to keep us out not to discuss the genocide matter and Noa’s (ACC DG) appointment,” he said.
“More questions will be coming, especially on the elite land capture in this country and the first salvo will be on the speaker. We have uncovered illegal land deals that he is busy with and we are going to deal with him, there will be no order… order.”
He was referring to Katjavivi’s now distinct refrain that has sparked many viral memes.
“He [Katjavivi] better start to prepare now or he must resign,” he added.
Approached for comment yesterday, Katjavivi said he could not answer as he was in a meeting. Parliament is expected to resume in less than three weeks.
President Geingob last year strongly implored Swapo parliamentarians to set the tone and the agenda in parliament, and not to allow others to do so as they are in the majority. “Don’t forget that the people and Swapo are watching you and should you fail to discharge your duties effectively, you may be recalled in the interest of the country and the Swapo party. That is how this system works,” Geingob said while addressing an induction workshop for Swapo MPs in July last year.