More LPM parliament woes

Four of the 10 Landless People’s Movement lawmakers are banned from attending Parliament sittings after two of the party’s National Council MPs were chucked out for allegedly violating the law, following in party leaders Bernadus Swartbooi and Henny Seibeb’s footsteps.

12 May 2021 | Politics

JEMIMA BEUKES







WINDHOEK

The Landless People’s Movement (LPM) is facing yet another parliamentary battle after two of its National Council lawmakers were withdrawn by Parliament.

Gertjie Witbooi from the Keetmanshoop Rural constituency and Karasburg East regional councillor Angeline Beukes were removed last month.

The party has 10 lawmakers in Parliament – four in the National Assembly and six in the National Council.

The Regional Councils Act 22 of 1992 in Section 18 (4) states that a member of a regional council who is elected as member of the management committee of the regional council is not eligible for election as member of the National Council under section 26.

National Council secretary, Tousy Namiseb, informed the party on 3 May that the Witbooi and Beukes ceased to be members of the National Council as of 9 April because they were elected as management committee members on the //Karas regional council.

“Kindly ensure that the affected two members are notified, without delay, so that they do not participate in National Council activities,” he wrote.

‘We’ll be back’

Witbooi confirmed yesterday that they received Namiseb’s letter, but said they would be back in the National Council as the matter would “soon be resolved” by their lawyer.

He added that their absence from the heated State of the Nation Address (SONA) was due to Covid-19 regulations, and not because of the withdrawal which only came almost a month after they joined the management committee.

LPM assistant spokesperson Joyce Muzengua yesterday confirmed that they are consulting lawyers, but said further details cannot be divulged to the media.

“We will definitely have a press conference once this issue is done,” she said.

She referred further questions to the party’s operative secretary Edson Isaaks, who was not reachable.

Added woes

The withdrawal of Beukes and Witbooi comes at a time when LPM leaders Bernadus Swartbooi and his second-in-command Henny Seibeb are fighting to be allowed back into the National Assembly.

The two were kicked out by National Assembly Speaker Peter Katjavivi last month after an altercation with President Hage Geingob during his SONA.

They dragged Katjavivi to court in a bid to force him to reinstate them, however, the court declined to grant them the order they sought.

National Assembly secretary Lydia Kandetu has since summoned Seibeb to appear before the privileges committee to explain his conduct. Seibeb will appear in his capacity as the party’s chief whip.

National Assembly spokesperson David Nahongandja said the committee on privileges inquiry will hear and consider evidence from various persons who were present in the National Assembly Chamber during the SONA.

“This is an internal hearing and the National Assembly will update the public regarding the progress of this important process at a later stage,” he said.

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