Geingob sceptical on Likoro’s think tank appointment

07 October 2021 | Politics

JEMIMA BEUKES



WINDHOEK

President Hage Geingob realises that the Swapo’s decision to appoint Vincent Likoro, a rape convict, to its think tank, as announced last week, will affect the party’s reputation.

He yesterday said he will call a press briefing at Swapo headquarters to explain the decision to appoint Likoro, a former special advisor to the then lands minister, Alfeus !Naruseb.

“Yes, the people are going to hear that the ruling party has appointed a person who did this and this and I agree with that. I had a big problem with the person involved [Likoro] too,” he said yesterday at State House.

“He was accusing me and asking me to reinstate him as advisor because he is out of jail and now on bail. I said ‘look, being out on bail doesn’t mean you have been freed’.

“Therefore, I handed the case over to the attorney-general, that time Albert Kawana, and he gave a legal opinion that said ‘you are not freed yet, you are out on bail’,” Geingob said.

No surprise

Meanwhile, gender activist Ndiilo Nthengwe believes that the ruling party appointing a convicted rapist to its think tank should come as no surprise, as the party places cronyism above accountability.

“It is with much disdain to have President Geingob, who is party president, overlook the seriousness and moral repulsion of such an appointment, having launched a Harambee Prosperity Plan which aims to tackle sexual and gender-based violence. “It’s no wonder the party continues to harbour, protect and groom perpetrators because the party culture is steeped in misogyny and dismissiveness and drenched with party members who are convicts of sexual abuse.”

Bail, appeal

In 2016, the Katima Mulilo Regional Court in the Zambezi Region convicted Likoro on one count of rape and sentenced him to a 10-year jail term for raping a colleague at a lodge in the region in July 2013.

He, however, appealed this conviction in the Windhoek High Court, and was granted bail of N$50 000, but this bail was cancelled when judges Christi Liebenberg and Dinah Usiku struck the matter off the court roll.

He was also ordered to return to prison, where he spent four months before the High Court outcome.

Likoro, who also served as a Swapo coordinator in Kavango, has since appealed the matter and is out on bail as he awaits a Supreme Court judgement.

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