PDM cries foul

04 February 2019 | Politics

The Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) has accused the ruling Swapo Party of strong-arming them out of the Omusati Region and has warned that Swapo will be shunned by the other O-regions because “the people are getting tired”.

According to PDM president McHenry Venaani, his party has also failed to secure venues for its political campaign in the region.

“Our extra-ordinary congress was supposed to take place in Outapi, but no one wanted to give us venues. We are seeing that Swapo is trying to use all it can to muscle all the support it has,” he said.

Venaani also blamed the clash between Outapi town council officials, private security officers and female vendors as being triggered by the PDM presence in the town.

On Wednesday, Outapi town council officials, accompanied by private security officers, were involved in a clash with seven female vendors.

The women, who feared their products would be confiscated, fought back, tussling with the security officers and council officials.

“There is a consistent heavy-handedness of the security apparatus in the Omusati Region influenced by political intimidation. We have seen vendors' commodities being thrown on the streets and being beaten. Our regional coordinator of Omusati was beaten yesterday (Wednesday). She was briefly hospitalised and released,” he said. According to Venaani, a lot of vendors have joined the PDM and this has earned the ire of local Swapo leadership.

“When their things are being thrown out the words are being used, 'Yes, you brought Venaani, now we are going to show you.' People are tired and they want to make a change,” said Venaani.

Police chief Inspector-General Sebastian Ndeitunga rejected Venaani's allegations that the police is influenced by politics.

According to Ndeitunga the Outapi police was never involved in the altercation with the vendors, but only maintained law and order.

“The police did not destroy people's belongings. And to answer Venaani, the police do not look at people's membership cards for political parties when they do their work. Even PDM, do they walk around with PDM on their faces?” he asked.

JEMIMA BEUKES

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