• September 26th, 2020

Swapo, opposition differ on birthday gathering

Kuzeeko Tjitemisa 

Swapo yesterday defended a symbolic cake-cutting ceremony held on Sunday to mark its 60 years anniversary, saying the matter has been blown out of proportion. 
The party insisted that less than ten people were inside the venue, while adding the necessary social distancing protocol was observed. The gathering has divided public opinion, with the Popular Democratic Movement as well as the Landless People’s Movement yesterday laying charges against the ruling party for allegedly violating the state of emergency Covid-19 regulations.  Swapo executive director Austin Samupwa dismissed claims yesterday that the party had violated Covid-19 regulations. 

“We are surprised that this
thing is being blown out of proportion. Some people are using it to score cheap political points. Swapo will not compromise on the health of citizens. We complied with the issue of social distancing and adhered to the required number of attendees. They were only ten people inside as other people, including journalists were asked to wait
outside,” Samupwa said. The executive director also defended a picture of President Hage Geingob supposedly holding hands with former
president Hifikepunye Pohamba. “President Pohamba is ageing and we all know that. The President of the party was not shaking hands with
President Pohamba per se, but a support mechanism to Comrade Pohamba who is ageing and needed support.” PDM leader McHenry Venaaniyesterday took to Twitter to condemn the gathering. “Leadership is to lead by example, why expect citizens to comply with regulations while a party celebration is regarded as essential,” he said. Outspoken
lawyer Norman Tjombe also slammed the ruling party. “And how selfish is it that some people are expected to be locked down in homes that cannot even accommodate two people at the risk of arrest and imprisonment, and the leaders go have a party and eat cake?” National Unity Democratic Organisation (Nudo) secretary general Josef Kauandenge called on the Namibian Police to fine all Swapo leaders who attended the 60th birthday ceremony. “We want to know since when did the Swapo birthday party become an essential service. Poor Namibians are being arrested and charged on a daily basis and they have to part ways with their hard earned N$2 000 yet the powers that be behave as
if they are not the ones who put the regulations in place in the first place,” Kauandenge said. “We are equally calling upon the Namibian Police and those entrusted to enforce this state of emergency regulations to charge the Swap President and those present at Sunday’s function with contravening of the state of emergency regulations,” he added. “Action speaks louder Mr. President and you are setting a very bad precedent because of your inherent nature of posturing, grandeur
and to be in the limelight. The Swapo Party and its President and by extension government cannot say one thing and go to the extent of contracting themselves on the other hand.” The LPM also condemned the gathering in a statement. “It is very clear that the President of Namibia and Swapo are above the law. We observed it at the presidential inauguration and again hosting a gathering to celebrate the Swapo birthday, both events during the state of emergency declared by the President and the emergency lockdown regulations,” the party said. “Once again, the arrogance, lack of respect, and consideration shown by the elite are tantamount to abuse of power and position. We call upon Namibian Police to deal with them according to the law as stipulated in emergency lockdown regulations. We cannot condone their violations of the lockdown especially with the police support. Women and children are harassed by police officers, beaten and abused daily because they are found standing outside their homes, or going to look for food and water, we have a few cases regarding abuse from the police.”

Kuzeeko Tjitemisa
2020-04-21 09:56:31 | 5 months ago

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