03 Jul 2013 09:40
WINDHOEK, 03 JUL (NAMPA) - The opposition Congress of Democrats (CoD) party on Wednesday expressed its unhappiness with Government because of its silence on a shooting incident in which five people lost their lives at Katima Mulilo last Saturday.
A Namibian Defence Force (NDF) member, who has been identified as 29-year-old Max Lucas, reportedly shot four people to death and wounded two others at a bar before turning the gun on himself in the matter.
The shooting was allegedly triggered by a disagreement over jackpot winnings.
?Five days after five people were shot and killed in Katima Mulilo, there is still not a single word of condolences, comfort or offer of support from Government to the bereaved families,? CoD Secretary-General Tsudao Gurirab charged.
?Some among you may wonder why we are reacting only now, almost three days after this sad event. The answer is that we expected a definitive reaction or answers from Government. Government should have said something by now, but since Saturday, Government is as mum as a mouse,? he stated at a media conference here on Wednesday.
He went on to say that if an officer is off-duty, as Lucas was at the time of the shooting, such officer should not have access to a gun, or be allowed to walk around with a firearm at places like shebeens or bars.
?The least the general public expects is a commitment on Government's part to review NDF's gun control for off-duty officers and bars operated by NDF members?, Gurirab added, stressing that this should be Defence Minister Nahas Angula's responsibility.
?He cannot continue to duck under the cover of his celebrated habit of denial. Sadly, the truth is that all (that) Namibians have seen from Government is a blanket of silence with a barmy statement from Angula, where he attempts to absolve the authorities of any blame,? he further pointed out.
The minister was quoted in a local English daily on Monday as saying people should not blame the ministry, because it did not send anyone to carry out the act.
?It is now a police issue, let them do their investigations,? Angula was quoted as having stated.
Meanwhile, Gurirab said the CoD?s members from the Caprivi Region feel they are being persecuted, particularly with so many former prisoners recently released after spending more than a decade ?on what appears to be trumped-up charges? in the ongoing Caprivi Treason Trial.
?Government made noise about the Buffalo Bar brawl, but the same government is silent on this case. This silence does not make Caprivians comfortable,? he noted.
The Buffalo Bar brawl involves an alleged racist attack on a black patron by white owners, with a court case still pending.
The CoD thus urged the relevant authorities to speed up the investigation in the Katima killings, and to ?offer comfort? to those affected.