Opposition: Remove Katrina

While the opposition welcomed the judgment in the former education minister's corruption trial, they feel that she should lose her seat in parliament too.

16 August 2019 | Local News

The youth league of the Popular Democratic Movement (PDMYL) has called for the removal of disgraced former education minister Katrina Hanse-Himarwa from the National Assembly.

Hanse-Himarwa was sentenced to a N$50 000 fine, alternatively a 24-month jail term, plus 12 months' imprisonment suspended for five years, after being convicted of corruption.

PDMYL secretary general Benson Katjirijova welcomed the sentence handed down by Judge Christie Liebenberg on 31 July, saying it signalled that no one is above the law.

Katjirijova said the sentence reflected the “best possible outcome” the State could get.

However, he said, the National Assembly cannot continue to “accommodate convicted criminals” of the ruling party.

“It seems like the National Assembly is now the dumping ground for disgraced Swapo politicians to come and spend the last days of their controversial political careers,” Katjirijova said, calling on the ruling party to “remove all convicts” from parliament.

“Members of the National Assembly must demonstrate the highest ethos and values. Having people like Katrina Hanse-Himarwa in the National Assembly does not serve the decorum of the National Assembly,” he added.

Hennie Seibeb, deputy leader of the Landless People's Movement (LPM), would not comment on Hanse-Himarwa's sentence, but said it was important to fight corruption on all levels.

“If you want to achieve higher economic growth, you need to stamp out corruption, because corruption by definition takes place in the public and private spheres, and if you don't want things to fall apart, you need to act decisively,” Seibeb said.

He added that any politicians “informed by a moral perspective should step down before being asked” if they found themselves in a position such as Hanse-Himarwa's.

“She should have stepped down and underwent a rehabilitation process to prove herself worthy of any other position of authority or responsibility,” Seibeb said.

Seibeb suggested that Hanse-Himarwa “can do community work” to show remorse, and further suggested that Tobie Aupindi (who was also given a N$50 000 fine after being found guilty on a charge under the ACC Act), should also do the honourable thing and step down as member of Swapo's Politburo and Central Committee.

“There are many in parliament who are implicated in the GIPF's missing millions and the SME Bank saga. It is a criminal cabal, a deep state. They should be made to vacate their parliamentary posts,” Seibeb said.

CATHERINE SASMAN

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