THE Landless People’s Movement (LPM) has not instituted legal action against former education minister and Swapo politburo member, Katrina Hanse-Himarwa, after she was seen in a staged and now widely circulated video participating in the removing from a car an LPM poster and holding it while supporters of the ruling party burn it.
One of the LPM leaders, Henny Seibeb, said that the party leadership still has not discussed the matter as the opposition party is currently busy with the upcoming national election campaigns.
He, however, called on the Inspector General of the Namibian Police, Lieutenant-General Sebastian Ndeitunga, to investigate the matter.
“We condemn the incident and it shows no spirit of democracy. Hanse-Himarwa is a senior politician and she knows what she did was wrong. What happened to democracy? The president should call her to order. Her actions, although they may seem small, could incite civil war. What if we retaliate?” Seibeb remarked.
Swapo party spokesperson, Hilma Nicanor, declined to comment on the matter and instead referred all questions to Hanse-Himarwa, who she says deserves a right of reply.
Although the footage clearly shows Hanse-Himarwa ripping the poster off the car with two other people, while asking the cameraperson to get ready while asking for a box of matches to burn the poster, she insists that the owner of the vehicle in question changed political parties and was at the forefront of the poster being removed.
“If someone puts a poster of a different party in front of my house, do I not have the right to remove it,” she said.
The Chief Election Officer at the Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN), Theo Mujoro, however, remained neutral on the matter and instead called on Nampol to investigate the matter.
This is despite the commission’s official ceremonial signing of the code of conduct last month, during which all the opposition parties but one refused to sign the document.
The Swapo party, represented by its Secretary General Sophia Shaningwa, also signed the document.
One of the codes clearly states that party members and supporters will not disfigure or destroy political or campaign materials of other parties
“Do you now see why it was important for parties to sign the code of conduct? Even though it was not compulsory, it was important for them to signed it and decide what steps to take in incidences like the current one,” Mujoro said.
Ndeitunga, on his part, said the public was only focusing on Hanse-Himarwa when some members and supporters of the opposition have done far worse.
“Someone vandalised Hage Geingob’s poster by putting their fingers in his eyes, nose and mouth. People should respect him. Yes, he is a Swapo president, but he is still the head of state,” said Ndeitunga.
Ndeitunga did, however, condemn both incidents, but did not say if the police would involve itself in the two cases.