APP leaders humiliated at Shixwameni’s funeral

Two top officials of the All People’s Party were side-lined at the funeral of party leader Ignatius Shixwameni at Rundu on Saturday.

29 November 2021 | Politics

KENYA KAMBOWE

RUNDU

All People’s Party (APP) vice-president Erastus Shuumbwa and secretary-general Vincent Kanyetu had to stand in the sun for the duration of the funeral of party leader Ignatius Shixwameni in Rundu on Saturday.

Allegations have also been made that State Protocol had an agenda of turning the funeral in favour of the ruling Swapo Party, a political home that the late Shixwameni had abandoned 22 years ago.

Expressing his disappointment, Kanyetu told Namibian Sun that both he and Shuumbwa had to stand behind the tent that accommodated President Hage Geingob, the Shixwameni family and other mourners deemed important.

“Tell me what picture does it give when the people we lead see the vice-president and the secretary-general of the party which the late Shixwameni was the head of standing in the sun while people like the mayor of Rundu, the Kavango East Swapo coordinator and many others, some of whom were never close to the late Shixwameni, were given preferential treatment,” Kanyetu said.

Kanyetu said they arrived late at the cemetery because they had gone to the mortuary to join the convoy that brought the coffin to the cemetery, only to be told that they could not be part of it.

“Be that as it may, we were late but we had a valid reason. However, they were supposed to ensure that chairs were reserved for the leadership of the party,” he argued.

Kanyetu concluded that the treatment he and Shuumbwa received was a clear indication that the government had an agenda to embarrass the APP.

“You were there at the airport when we went to collect the remains. They made sure I was far from it as I was not allowed to go to the aircraft. All that was done intentionally. They maybe waited for the late Shixwameni to pass on in order for them to humiliate the party,” Kanyetu said angrily.

Party funds

Kanyetu also questioned what the point of conferring a state funeral was if the APP had pay for the logistics and catering at the family home.

“There is nothing the state could afford that APP could not afford. I can even say we might have spent more than the state,” Kanyetu said.

“Had we had known this was the way they wanted to humiliate the party, we could have lobbied the family not to agree to a state funeral, because the APP which the late Shixwameni was a leader of ended up being humiliated.”

Venaani blocked

The leader of the official opposition, McHenry Venaani, also expressed disappointment at protocol officers who denied him an opportunity to speak at the Shixwameni memorial service on Friday.

Venaani alleged that the order not to let him speak was given by President Geingob in view of the by-election in the Ncamagoro Constituency scheduled for 17 December.

He said he had confirmed to the protocol office that he would attend the funeral when he was contacted last week, but to his surprise he later learned that he was not among the speakers on the programme.

He said he asked why he was omitted, but no one could give him answers.

Venaani said this was strange because the leader of the official opposition is usually given a chance to speak at funerals of parliamentarians.

On the issue of how the APP leaders were treated at the funeral, Venaani said he was surprised to see them standing in the sun.

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