Ndeitunga warns political trolls

The police chief is disturbed by recent incidents of expletive-ridden political confrontations, saying they could lead to injuries.

27 October 2020 | Politics

KENYA KAMBOWE

RUNDU

Police chief Sebastian Ndeitunga has warned political actors to avoid insulting others or risk facing crimen injuria charges if their opponents open cases against them.

He made the remarks following a heated confrontation between Swapo supporters and those of Rundu Urban Community Association (RUCA) at Tumweneni informal location at the weekend.

Similar confrontations occurred at Opuwo a week ago, where expletives were exchanged between Independent Patriots for Change (IPC) and Swapo supporters at the town.

Ndeitunga said this could lead to physical fights and injuries.

The police chief questioned the wisdom of insulting opponents by people vying for public office.

“Why would the voters want to have leaders who swear? It’s self-defeating,” he told Namibian Sun.

“Nobody in this country has the right to insult anybody or ridicule another person.”

The campaign for next month’s local and regional elections has been marred by personal attacks and ridicule, although no injuries have been reported so far.

Ndeitunga confirmed having received a complaint about what happened at Rundu over the weekend.

He said although citizens enjoy a myriad of constitutional rights, they should remember that nobody is above the law or has the right to trample on the rights of others.

He emphasised that there is a code of conduct for political parties, as well as laws that prohibit certain actions during elections.

Lead by example

“You must just explain your political party’s programmes and what you are going to do should you be elected into power, but if you are insulting others, who will accept a leader who is insulting their voters? What example are you setting as a leader who insults?” Ndeitunga said.

“There are codes of conduct and there are general laws that govern the conduct of every citizen in this country.

“You are not allowed to insult other people. Insulting other people is crimen injuria. Nobody in this country has the right to insult anybody or ridicule another person.

“No law in this country gives power to any person to insult or ridicule others and violate their rights, and therefore every person who has a grievance about being insulted or ridiculed has the right to open a [criminal] case.”

Political maturity

Ndeitunga said based on the level of democracy enjoyed in Namibia, he expects citizens to be politically mature when it comes to exercising their rights during elections.

“We do not want the police to be overburdened with cases every time. People should just behave and not trample on the rights and freedoms of others,” Ndeitunga said.

“We should be more mature in a democratic society like this ours where we respect the rights of everyone. Your right should not be above my right.

“Before the law we are all equal and we should respect each other and we should be mature in whatever we try to promote in our society.”

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