The Namibian Police is pleased with the behaviour of demonstrators at yesterday’s demonstration where hundreds of community members turned out to demonstrate against Government’s plan to construct a new parliament. NamPol’s Inspector General Sebastian Ndeitunga told The Patriot late yesterday afternoon that he is pleased with the conduct of the demonstrators. “I can confirm that no incidents were recorded. As agreed, the march was done in a peaceful manner which shows that our youth can exercise their rights within the confines of the law,” said a relieved Ndeitunga. One of the AR founders, Job Amupanda, vowed before the demonstrations that the procession would be apolitical, peaceful and without intimidation. The force deployed a huge contingent of personnel to ensure order, but during the demonstrations that lasted close to five hours, there were no stand-off between the demonstrators and the police.
The Namibian police force and the Windhoek City Police were on high alert at all fronts and helping to direct the traffic to clear the route for the group. NamPol members were in position until the end of the demonstrations.
The demonstration that commenced at the Katutura Multipurpose Youth Center to the Snyman circle in Ausspannplatz was in complete security and maintained order by the Namibian Police force. The force also ensured that some officers were left at the Katutura Multipurpose youth centre to guide over the demonstrators cars left behind. Prior to the demonstration, one of the founders of the Affirmative Reposition, Job Amupanda advised the crowd not to feel intimidated by the police force. “The police are working together with the Affirmative Reposition to maintain order,” he said. Things however almost got out of hand when demonstrators were told that National Assembly speaker Professor Peter Katjavivi would not receive the petition in person. Acting National Assembly secretary Findley Harker was sent to receive the petition on behalf of Katjavivi but the demonstrators refused to acknowledge his presence. Some of the group members even threatened to demonstrate to parliament had Katjavivi failed to pitch. “We had an agreement with the speaker and the police have committed and signed that Katjavivi will be here. We want him here or else we will march to the parliament,” proclaimed Amupanda much to the delight of the demonstrators. Katjavivi eventually turned up to receive the 10-page petition.
WRP oppose new parliament
The Workers’ Revolutionary Party (WRP) also joined the demonstration, saying the construction of a new parliament building is a scam and was designed to ‘defraud the nation of valuable resources’.
WRP said the new parliament will be a criminally illegal structure. “Affirmative Reposition is not a political party; we are not here for political parties we are here to demonstrate against the construction of a new parliament. We don’t want their[politicians’] papers, they should take them elsewhere,” lamented an angry demonstrator. Politicians from most of the party’s represented in parliament formed part of the demonstrating group.
Even ruling party members who were barred by the party to join the procession joined the movement.
The opposition party’s spokesperson Hewat Beukes told Nampa during the demonstration that the youth face the mindless borrowing of money to invest in buildings for the purpose of “unadulterated theft” by politicians.
He said the party supports the Affirmative Repositioning (AR) movement, who initiated the demonstration, for their protest actions to secure themselves a future which present levels of corruption is threatening.
The administration of President Hage Geingob is in favour of constructing a new parliament building to accommodate the 146 parliamentarians.
Additional reporting by Nampa