Katjavivi is being used by Geingob – Swartbooi

22 April 2021 | Politics

OGONE TLHAGE

WINDHOEK

Landless People’s Movement (LPM) leader Bernadus Swartbooi believes President Hage Geingob is behind National Assembly Speaker Peter Katjavivi’s drastic decision to suspend the opposition party’s top two leaders from parliament.

Swartbooi and his deputy, Henny Seibeb, were chucked out of the National Assembly chamber when chaos erupted after the delivery of the State of the Nation Address by President Hage Geingob last week.

Swartbooi was escorted out by security officers while Seibeb was forcibly removed by Geingob’s head of security, Johan Ndjaronguru.

Suspended

The two men, both former members of the ruling party Swapo, have since been indefinitely suspended from parliament.

Addressing party members outside parliament yesterday, Swartbooi said the LPM would not relent.

“The Speaker [Katjavivi] is not listening because his friend Geingob is pushing him. Now this is not a fight for one day or for one year,” Swartbooi warned.

LPM lawyers yesterday wrote to Katjavivi warning him of impending court action should the duo’s suspension not be lifted.

“Your reliance on Rule 124(a) as the repository of power for you to withdraw our clients from the National Assembly is with respect misplaced and wrong in law,” lawyer Patrick Kauta warned Katjavivi.

Barred

Other LPM lawmakers, which included Utaara Mootu, Harald Kambrude, Jeremias Goeieman, Gerrit Witbooi, Anseline Beukes and Nicodemus Motinga, were also locked out of the grounds of parliament by the Namibian police – allegedly out of fear that they might proceed with protests inside the chambers.

The police had barricaded all entries to the parliament building and later used handcuffs as an extra measure to lock all gates.

Swartbooi said despite opposition to Katjavivi’s decision from Swapo chief whip Hamunyera Hambyuka, Swapo backbencher Juliet Kavetuna, Popular Democratic Movement MPs McHenry Venaani and Vipuakuje Muharukua as well as National Unity Democratic Organisation (Nudo) MP Jossie Kauandenge, Katjavivi remained steadfast in his decision to bar the duo from the National Assembly.

Upheld

The Committee on Standing Rules has in the meantime decided to maintain the decision made by Katjavivi, National Assembly spokesperson David Nahongandja said.

“The Committee on Standing Rules and Orders sat today and deliberated. It decided to maintain the ruling of the Speaker that the two members are withdrawn from the National Assembly. The matter is referred to the Committee of Privileges, which will sit only on Monday,” Nahongandja said.

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