Human rights boss calls for PG's removal

02 Jul 2014 16:50pm
WINDHOEK, 02 JUL (NAMPA) - A Namibian human rights’ organisation on Wednesday called for the immediate removal of Prosecutor-General (PG) Olivia Martha Imalwa from her position.
Namrights’ executive director Phil ya Nangoloh told a media conference in the capital today that the PG should be removed because she had allegedly allowed the prolonged torture, unfair trial and ill-treatment of more than 100 imprisoned Caprivi treason suspects.
The high treason trial of over 100 alleged Caprivi separatists is still pending before High Court Judge Elton Hoff at the recently-refurbished court building inside the premises of the Windhoek Central Prison, while the retrial of another group of nine alleged secessionists only began in the same court building last week.
The call for Imalwa’s removal as PG is part of a 58-page-dossier titled “Namibia Dossier Containing Evidence of Complicity in and Impunity for Torture and Ill-treatment”.
The document was made public by Ya Nangoloh this morning.
It contains ‘real and hard-core evidence’ of torture and ill-treatment of the alleged separatists, who were all arrested for taking part in the failed attempt to secede the Caprivi Region (now Zambezi Region) from the rest of Namibia on 02 August 1999.
“With the alleged separatists in jail for about 12 years now and the trial not yet concluded, it was obvious the Namibian Government and the PG's Office have overstepped all human and legal boundaries, and made themselves guilty of gross human rights violations and abuse,” said Ya Nangoloh.
He claimed that these alleged human rights' violations included Namibian security forces torturing some of the alleged secessionists, and not giving them a fair trial within a reasonable period of time.
“There is ample indiciary evidence strongly showing that the Prosecutor-General has been deliberately appointed with or without her knowledge in order to undermine an independent, impartial, objective, competent and professional prosecutorial service of Namibia,” alleged Ya Nangoloh.
The country's human rights figure further accused Imalwa and her office of allegedly not paying proper attention to a number of criminal cases in which some high-ranking Government officials and their friends have been implicated.
Ya Nangoloh said he had personally sent a letter to the Office of Chief Justice Peter Shivute and the Judicial Service Commission with strong recommendations for the immediate removal of Imalwa a month ago, and he is still awaiting a response.
He also said the dossier by his watch-dog organisation, has been submitted to the United Nations’ Special Rapporteur.
Imalwa was appointed as PG by President Hifikepunye Pohamba in January 2004 on the recommendations of the Judicial Service Commission.
She replaced former PG Hans Heymann.
Meanwhile, a PG can only be removed from office on the recommendation of the Judicial Service Commission.
Efforts to get comment from the PG proved futile by Wednesday afternoon, but a staff member at her office, who declined to be named, said the PG has to properly study the released human rights document first before giving any response on the matters raised by Ya Nangoloh.
On 02 August 1999, the Caprivi Region was rocked by an unsuccessful secessionist attempt, which was quashed by members of the Namibian Defence Force and Namibian Police Force.
About 120 men were consequently arrested, some only on suspicion of having aided other people in the failed attempt to secede the Caprivi Region from the rest of Namibia.