Speaking for the first time since his replacement, in a letter attributed to Swartbooi dated 15 December 2016, the former deputy minister refers to the claims that he verbally resigned as “assertions” from the Presidency.
“As per the false assertions by your (Geingob) team, through a certain Frans Kapofi and Albertus !Aochamub made in public, you insist on my verbal resignation which only exists in your false narrative,” Swartbooi said in a hard-hitting letter dated 15 December addressed to Geingob..
In the letter, Swartbooi goes on to take shots at the president for what he terms “untruths” that are currently being fed to the nation while also questioning the credibility of those in the State House.
“Such untruths can be publicly circulated demonstrates lack of leadership in the rank and file at the State House,” lashes Swartbooi.
In addition, Swartbooi goes on to say leaders in the State House uphold the truths and stop promoting lies. “I thus reject the fiction in law and fact, that you accept my verbal resignation, for such a verbal resignation does not exist,” Swartbooi said in the letter.
Swartbooi further told the President to be “bold” and remove him from his office through the powers vested in him by the Namibian constitution instead of basing his decision on “fiction” and “falsehood”.
Additionally, Swartbooi through letter showed his dismay saying it was a “shame”. “One wonders how many times the nations the nation is informed falsehood, that question will linger on for many years,” said Swartbooi. Swartbooi was told to resign after he refused to apologize for remarks he had made about Land Reform Minister Utoni Nujoma at a cultural festival about a week ago. Reports say, Swartbooi demanded that Utoni must be called to order because of the manner in which he handles the land resettlement issue.
In the aftermath of the remarks, Geingob wrote a letter through Presidential Affairs Minister Frans Kapofi requesting Swartbooi to apologize. Swartbooi has since refused to heed the President’s call to apologise.
This refusal by Swartbooi culminated into a meeting with Geingob and other top government official were he (Swartbooi) allegedly resigned “verbally”. Since his alleged verbal resignation, Swartbooi showed up to work on Wednesday.
Swapo backbencher Ida Hoffmann said in a letter also written to Geingob that the residents of //Kharas Region, and by extension all minority groups support Swartbooi throughout Namibia and gave the Office of the President until 31 January 2017 to give “us a favorable response to our demands.”
“Swartbooi is upholding the oath which he took and the provisions of the constitution, when he says, the Minister Utoni Nujoma must be called to order. Because Minister Nujoma was violating the provisions of the Constitution by being biased, favouring certain groups over others and by being unfair to the residents of the area, in his resettlement distribution programme,” she said.
“Stop labeling us as Tribalists, and listen to the pressing land and socio-economic issues we are addressing.We support Hon. Bernadus Clinton Swartbooi, Deputy Minister of Land Reform, and the demand that he should apologize to the Minister or to President should be withdrawn,” she said. She added: “We have seen how the Affirmative Repositioning (AR) Movement activists use abusive and derogatory words to the President and the Ministers, yet they were not asked to apologize. Instead, they were invited to State House and treated to state hospitality.
Do not think, because Clinton Swartbooi is from the Nama tribe, and is therefore regarded as insignificant with votes, he can be pushed around. Our votes matter in any Election.”
Swapo ruled out any chances of Swartbooi being removed from parliament because “he was elected”.
The party’s secretary general Nangolo Mbumba confirmed this to The Patriot yesterday. “That is not a party issue and we cannot give a stance because the President is part of Swapo and you cannot divide the party from the president. We must remember that he was appointed to his ministerial position and elected to parliament,” Mbumba said.