Clips were circulating on social media this week of an ‘After Tears’ party in northern Namibia, where mourners, most clad in black, were seen partying under the guise of celebrating the life of the deceased.
Youths can be seen drinking, singing, hugging and dancing on tables, with no social distancing taking place, and no one was wearing protective masks.
President Hage Geingob too saw the clip, and expressed disappointment with the young people seen flouting public health safety protocols and disregarding Covid-19 regulations.
“Such wanton recklessness, selfishness and irresponsibility at a time that our country is warding off the peak of the pandemic should not be allowed to continue,” said Geingob during his public announcement of new Covid-19 protocols on Tuesday evening. At the time, Namibia had registered a record number of new infections and over 1 000 deaths.
He warned those organising and engaging in such activities that there will be consequences, as provided for in the country’s laws and regulations.
The father of the deceased also condemned the irresponsible action of the mourners, saying that gathering was in no way related to the formal organisation of his late son’s burial or related programme, neither did it take place at Okalongo or at any relative’s house.
“It’s beyond our comprehension that in anyone’s wisdom, one would indulge in such an irresponsible act during this time when our country faces a severe impact of Covid-19 on human life and well-being,” stated bereaved father Lineekela Shipindo in the note.
Similar clips have since popped up on social media. However, the dates and sources of such clips could not be verified, but speculation is rife that those videos were also recorded during this pandemic as people were seen not wearing masks, or wearing masks inappropriately, or holding them in the hands or around the elbows.
Geingob has since imposed stricter measures surrounding social gatherings, including reducing the number of people at events to 10, and restricting the sale and purchase of liquor from shebeens and bars from 09h00 to 18h00, Monday to Saturdays on take-away basis only.
The on-site consumption of liquor is prohibited, except at restaurants, guesthouses, hotels and similar establishments where guests reside.