By Staff Reporter
A defiant Independent Candidate is who The Patriot encountered on Wednesday night, during a group discussion with presidential hopeful Panduleni Itula.
“All these political scientists came up with their theories and none of them ever came to me and asked me anything. We are very good in putting moral theories and understandings to legal issues; if we’ve got a problem with morals let’s go get a code of morals or a code of ethics,” he said during the engagement.
At issue was the fact that Itula cannot understand how anyone in Namibia can be confused about his running as an independent candidate, while still maintaining his Swapo membership.
“What people?” he asks. “Be specific. I will not answer an abstract question. If we have got a problem with confusion there might be a forum for confusion, but I still don’t understand who is confused and what is the objective evidence based on.”
The aspiring Presidential candidate continued stringently, saying that he is an objective person, who believes in the rule of law. If you go into the abstractive nature of the question, I do not have abstract answers.”
Pressed on why he was still in the Swapo party, when he has made his disillusionment with the party publicly known, Itula relented, “I will answer that question of why I am still in Swapo. I’ve given you a background of where Article 17 of the Namibian Constitution makes mention of the rights of the citizens. It also makes mention of political parties in the sense where it states that all citizens shall have the right to form and join political parties. Subject to qualifications that may be described by law, as it required in a democratic society, citizens shall have the right to participate in the conduct of public affairs whether directly or through free chosen representatives. That’s Article 17. The first section says ‘all citizens shall have the right to participate in peaceful political activities intended to influence the government and the policies of government. Now that is all citizens.
It does not say ‘provided you resign from the political party’. In fact, let me make it very clear here,” he says. “When you are representing a political party, you are not representing members in that political party.
The combative Itula continued “I can just as well give you the analogy of being in your mother and father’s house and they are arguing every day. Do you leave the house and go and build your little house outside,” he asked rhetorically? “No, you don’t. You either choose to be in your own room or you decide ‘I’ll speak to each of them independently’” Itula told those who gathered that Namibians are the victims of ignorance, and as victims, will moralise and bring ethical issues into the legal realm of that the rights of Namibians are.
He continued to explain how the process to be followed within the Swapo party for nomination for the party’s congress, was ignored by President Hage Geingob, when he (Geingob) announced in the October 2017 Politbureau meeting that “people have been asking me who I want to rule with.
I have already indicated that the president of the Swapo party is elected by this elite group of people.”
Itula claims there is something inherently wrong in Rule 53 of the Swapo Party Constitution which says that the president of the party shall automatically be the candidate for the presidency in Namibia.
Article 9.8 of the Swapo Party Constitution makes no provision that the president shall be an automatic candidate because Article 2 of the Swapo Party Constitution says that we are not a movement founded and born up out of the principle of the Reich Struggle.
(Swapo is) founded on the principles of democracy, solidarity, freedom, social justice and progress. Now these contradictions we need to clear up.”
Itula says that since he is essentially not running on the Swapo ticket, he is not accountable to the Swapo party; but that he is accountable to the 18 500 people in the regions, who nominated him to run for presidency.
“You are asking me about the confusion, in whose mind is the confusion? 18 000 people could not be wrong, because they heard of that independent candidate even in their language, especially Oshiwambo.
Now you need to tell me who is confused. Bring them to me, I’ll take the confusion out of them.
“Rowdy Ondangwa crowd” called for violent downfall of Geingob- Deputy IG
Deputy Inspector General, Oscar Embubulu has told The Patriot that the rowdy crowd at Ondangwa that blocked a major road in the name of Independent Candidate, Panduleni Itula, called for the violent downfall of incumbent Hage Geingob.
Embubulu spoke to the media soon after the Electoral Commission of Namibia told the SADC election observer mission that the campaign environment had been largely peaceful across the country.
This turned out to contradict the police’s second in command who admitted to the use of minimum force to disperse the Ondangwa crowds whom he said wanted Geingob’s motorcade off the highway.
Embubulu did not mince words saying that as much as they were apolitical as a police force, the protection of the incumbent was paramount, vowing that the police would be on standby to clamp down on any acts of violence during the polls.
“People came in blocking roads, chanting or saying Hage Down! Hage Down! Some were even having bottles apparently to throw at his motorcade and so on and so on. Now police came in to maintain law and order of what we construed as unruly,” he said.
However, the use of inflammatory and inciting language has been on the side of the ruling party as well, with Sacky Shangala drawing criticism for labelling Itula as a ghost.
Sophia Shaningwa, the party’s Secretary General, has also told supporters to “go and kill the fly”, a phrase interpreted to have been directed to Itula.
Faced with the question why the police took no action against this, Embubulu said, “I am very much concerned with the protection of the Head of State.”
Embubulu quickly changed course, later admitting that the police were there to protect everyone.
“To say in as much as we have our freedom of speech, we should not use derogatory words. The police are an apolitical institution and we are here not only for the president of the government of the day, but we are here to protect and defend the state.
Now if any of the political party members is using derogatory words or incitement, this is what we are discouraging as a stable nation as a peaceful nation that people should refrain from using all those unwanted words or incitement to cause violence,” he said.
Embubulu was further taken to task on whether to chants to down the President was derogatory. given that such chants were synonymous with political party rallies campaigning against rivals.
But Embubulu insisted that there were also other threats against the President. “… to say they will kill the President.
They will topple him even if he wins. So that is incitement to violence and us as security forces will not tolerate such security threats,” he submitted. How apolitical is a voting policeman? The police and soldiers, together with fishermen have recently gone to the polls to cast their vote prior the 27th of November polling day.
Itula has also denied that he gave any orders to have the road blocked but stated that revolutions had no leadership and were spontaneous and that he would support such, “but not violence”.
Itula, this week told a throng of his supporters that he would pull out of the poll race if any, among his them, would shed blood.