Radical youth a threat – Ndeitunga

Young people singing 'song of regime change'

12 February 2020 | Police

Proponents of regime change who want to resort to other means to effect government change are a threat to democracy in Namibia, police Inspector-General Sebastian Ndeitunga said.

He made the remarks at a joint press conference with Southern Africa Regional Police Chiefs Cooperation Organisation (Sarpcco) chairperson Godwin Matanga in Windhoek on Monday.

Instead of attempting to topple the current government through means [such as civil war], those who claim to be radical must do so via voting, as opposed to taking the law into their own hands, he said.

He added that the media is duty-bound to inform and educate the public on “the phenomena of radicalisation of the youth in our region who are singing the song of regime change. This is a phenomenon that has become extreme against the democratic principle of popular elections for people to elect their own leader(s) [and] not to force regime change”.

“If I have a problem with a leader, I should use the voting channel to make sure that I vote [out] the unproductive leader and vote [in] the productive one. But to say we will force them to go out, that is not the way,” he added.

Ndeitunga said if the political situation in Namibia becomes unstable, the country will suffer.

“You [Namibia] don't even produce toothpicks,” he said.

Asked if this was the reason Namibia's security has been heightened and military deployed onto the streets, he retorted: “I did not see any military deployment. Secondly, the military you are talking about probably is those who are part of Operation Kalahari Desert, [a] crime prevention operation. But I have never seen tanks and military in the streets of Windhoek.”

Last week, it was reported that safety minister Charles Namoloh, who Ndeitunga reports to, questioned the military bosses' unilateral decision to heighten the country's security status and allow military deployment onto the streets without consulting Cabinet.

On 1 December 2019, acting chief of the defence force Air Vice-Marshal Martin Pinehas announced that the military had heightened security levels in the country due to political threats.

When Nampa queried Ndeitunga about the military's deployment at the time, he sang a different song.

“There is no need for it [military deployment],” he said, adding that “no life has been threatened to the point of a state of emergency. The president normally calls for a state of emergency but I am not aware of one”.