Swartbooi 'awakening sleeping lions'

07 July 2020 | Politics



The Namibia National Liberation Veterans Association (NNLVA) says Landless People's Movement (LPM) leader Bernardus Swartbooi is “awakening sleeping lions” by calling founding president Sam Nujoma a thug and a liar in the National Assembly last week.

“Rest assured that we still have the energy to liberate our nation from all sorts of intimidation. This is not a threat but a warning and it should be taken very seriously,” NNLVA president Ben Shikongo said yesterday.

“As battle-tested combatants and commanders of the liberation struggle, no one should expect us to sit idle when our hard-won independence and peace that we bitterly fought for is torn up by yesteryear reactionaries and tribalists, who lack an understanding of this country's liberation history,” he added. “Calling Dr Nujoma a thug and a liar in parliament is unpardonable and must be vehemently condemned. The disparaging remarks… are uncalled for, disrespectful and should not be entertained by any Namibian.”

Shikongo said Swartbooi and his fellow LPM MP Henny Seibeb should be permanently removed from the National Assembly.

President also disrespected

The association also condemned the conduct of Swartbooi and Seibeb when President Hage Geingob was delivering his State of the Nation Address in June.

“The LPM disturbed president during the State of the Nation Address, where the LPM leaders showed disrespect to the head of state. We cannot allow the president to be belittled, especially on a very important day when he was addressing the nation. The president deserves our utmost respect at all times.

“We as the liberators of this country will under no circumstances tolerate such utterances against the founding president and current president or any other leaders at all levels and by parliamentarians in the august house, irrespective of the party they represent,” Shikongo said.

LPM unfazed

Seibeb was not moved by Shikongo's comments.

“The so-called war veterans have gone to sleep because their pockets are lined. We shall return them with fire if that is what they wish for (sic),” Seibeb said.

“It's a democracy. We got elected for five years and we are leaders of our own party. Whether we are in parliament or not, our opinions will not change. In fact, it will motivate us to fight hard and mobilise.”