Analyst wary of army's Arab Spring alarm

03 December 2019 | Crime

Political commentator Ndumba Kamwanyah has cautioned the army against using social media posts to claim that “advocates of violence” in Namibia are planning to replicate the Orange Revolution in the Ukraine and the Arab Spring that enveloped large parts of the Islamic world.

Kamwanyah was speaking shortly after acting chief of the Namibian Defence Force (NDF), Air Vice-Marshal Martin Pinehas, said the country remains at the highest security level possible, and that appropriate action will be taken if these kinds of actions play out in Namibia.

He stressed that care should be taken not to create a state of panic in the country, because of things posted on social media.

He also said that NDF should have provided more details.

Kamwanyah said it is difficult to know exactly what evidence the NDF has and what they are looking at, but it has to be credible and not just “loose” postings on social media.





He said thorough investigations are needed. “However we should give them the benefit of the doubt.”

Kamwanyah said it also puzzles him why NDF elevated the security level of the country the day before the elections.

“They have to explain why now and how long have they been working on this matter.”

He said the NDF has to be careful not to single out political parties, because this too can entice violence.

Pinehas said the NDF is particularly disturbed by some individuals saying that since their candidates did not win the just-ended general election, they will resort to unconstitutional means to obtain political power in the country.

According to him this includes the assassination of President Hage Geingob, the storming and burning of State House, launching a civil war, blocking of roads and sabotaging government installations and national key points.

He said even though peaceful elections were held last week, the security level in Namibia will remain elevated.

Pinehas said on 26 November the nation was informed that security in the country was upped to its highest level.

He said this became imperative following incitements to violence and chaos, and threats of assassinations and civil war by certain individuals or groups using social media.

“After the announcement of election results, the threats that were made before the elections continued to be shared on social media.”

Pinehas said to ensure the law is enforced, the constitution has provided for the establishment of institutions such as the judiciary, the police, correctional services and the NDF.

He said the NDF in particular was established by the Defence Act, with prescribes the composition, powers, duties and procedures, in order to defend the territory and national interests of Namibia.

“As such any unlawful acts of violence, which causes loss or threatens the lives of the Namibian people, destroys government and individuals' properties, restricts the movement of the Namibian people, renders government ineffective in the provision of goods and services and threatens the integrity of the state, therefore deserves appropriate responses from the NDF.”

While mentioning the Orange Spring Revolution and the Arab Spring, Pinehas said these types of revolutions had devastated countries in Eastern Europe, the Middle East and North Africa.

“We are also aware that such types of revolutions are always backed by foreign agencies, who are eager to capture the economies of the states concerned. We cannot therefore allow our country to descend into chaos due to self-serving individuals who do not have the security of our country at heart.”

He therefore called on those that are spreading rumours and propaganda, with the intent to cause division among Namibians, in order to achieve personal objectives above those of the collective, to stop immediately.

ELLANIE SMIT