Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Namibia: Member of opposition opens case against ruling party's supporters

A member of the opposition, Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP) opened a case of malicious damage to property against two Swapo Party supporters on Friday, after the latter allegedly tore an RDP poster, which was fastened to a municipal street lamp in Okuryangava.

The alleged damage to the poster apparently occurred on Tuesday at around 19h00 in the Okuryangava residential area of Windhoek's Tobias Hainyeko constituency.

Police constable Bernita Nangolo confirmed on Friday that a case of malicious damage to property and theft has been opened against two women said to be Swapo supporters or sympathisers.

The names of the two women are not yet known, but the RDP member said he knows where one of them stays.

An RDP member, Sackaria Namuhuya, was attempting to attach Hidipo Hamutenya's election campaign poster onto a municipal lamp post on a private residential erf close to the De Javu shebeen.

Namuhuya was confronted by an angry group of people who started singing Swapo songs and demanded that he removed the poster.

A scuffle apparently ensued when Namuhuya refused to bow in to their demands, and the two women allegedly tore the poster. He, however, did not lay any assault charges against the alleged attackers.

The owner of the erf, businesswoman Esther Johannes, said Namuhuya did not get her permission to put his party's poster on her premises.

“I don't make my living from political parties. Why should a political party campaign from someone's private house?” she asked.

Johannes also said it is wrong for political parties to put up their campaign posters at businesses like shebeens because these posters have a negative effect on their businesses when customers do not support the same political party.

Namuhuya said the RDP has paid a fee to the City of Windhoek for permission to display their campaign posters on lamp posts during the time of the election campaign.

“This is just a Swapo agenda of intimidation to make sure that opposition parties are not allowed to use such a platform for their campaigns. I don't understand why people are doing this to our party. No political party is allowed to interfere with the campaign of another party,” he said.

Namuhuya said the RDP will still continue to run its campaigns in a peaceful manner without destroying the posters and property of other parties.

The City of Windhoek could not be reached for comment on the issue of having political parties pay for the use of lamp posts during the campaign period leading up to the November 28 general elections. - Nampa

The Namibian

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