'Swartbooi's mom was insulted'

Labour minister Utoni Nujoma allegedly insulted the mother of LPM member of parliament Bernadus Swartbooi in the National Assembly.

27 March 2020 | Politics

JEMIMA BEUKES

WINDHOEK



The Landless People's Movement (LPM) claims the commotion in parliament involving its leader Bernadus Swartbooi and labour minister Utoni Nujoma was trigged by an insult by Nujoma.

LPM chief whip Henny Seibeb said in a statement Nujoma had allegedly cursed Swartbooi's mother, which provoked Swartbooi, who crossed the room to confront Nujoma.

According to Seibeb, Nujoma, who is a Swapo member, demonstrated the “unwritten cultural” and “political hegemony” that has allowed the ruling party to insult, belittle, harass, humiliate and control opposition parties.

“Provocations, agitations, instigations are not good for parliament.

“For this seventh National Assembly, we are of the political view that LPM will be robust and direct on the issues that affect Namibians, and that the honeymoon for Swapo is over. We are acutely informed that Nujoma has previously never been reprimanded for disrespectful behaviour towards other members of parliament of opposition parties in the sixth National Assembly,” he said.

National Assembly speaker Peter Katjavivi said what happened has nothing to do with incidents in the past.

“If you want a comment on this issue, then I can help you and refer you to someone who is authorised to give a comment. You can speak to the parliamentary spokesperson,” he said.

Parliamentary spokesperson David Nahogandja said there are rules and procedures to be followed in dealing with such matters. When that process is finalised, the appropriate information will be shared accordingly.

In 2018, Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) MP Vipuakuje Muharukua accused Katjavivi of being “weak, biased and making a joke of parliament to the detriment of the nation”.

According to him, the speaker lacked the backbone to look his fellow Swapo MPs in the eye and say they are wrong and must apologise.

This happened after Nujoma called opposition MPs puppets and said farmers in the Kunene Region will never sell their cattle, even if they do not have sugar in their homes.

Attempts to reach Nujoma proved futile.

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