Charged ... land grabbing, embarrassing Swapo, disturbing peace

March 9, 2015, 7:24am

Charged ... land grabbing, embarrassing Swapo, disturbing peace

By Shinovene ImmanuelTileni Mongudhi

SWAPO Party secretary general Nangolo Mbumba has charged suspended youth leader Job Amupanda and his two comrades for illegal land occupation, embarrassing the party and disturbing peace in the country.
The charges came two days after the party's politburo endorsed a decision by the top four consisting of President Hifikepunye Pohamba, vice president Hage Geingob, secretary general Nangolo Mbumba and deputy secretary general Laura McLeod-Katjirua.
The party's four top leaders suspended Amupanda, Dimbulukeni Nauyoma and George Kambala from all party activities last year. Mbumba yesterday confirmed to The Namibian that he wrote to the three youth leaders but declined to provide further details.
“The charges are not your work. I cannot be talking to you on what I communicate with them because it is a legal process. It is in my capacity as the secretary general to communicate to them and I will not share it with a journalist like you,” he said.
Two of the three youth leaders have started picking holes in Mbumba's efforts to punish them. Mbumba mixed up the titles of the two suspended leaders, referring to Amupanda as district secretary for Tobias Hainyeko, the title that belongs to Nauyoma.
Nauyoma was referred to as the Swapo Party Youth League secretary for information, mobilisation and publicity, a title that belonged to Amupanda before he resigned.
Details about the exact charges are sketchy but The Namibian understands the trio was given two days to respond to the charges and failure to do so would mean admission of guilt.
Nauyoma and Amupanda responded separately on 6 March 2014, informing Mbumba that they could not plead to the charges since they are being referred to through portfolios which they never held. 
“I, therefore, ask your good office to provide clarity on this matter,” Amupanda said in his reply to the secretary general.
Kambala, the third accused, responded to the charges on 6 March 2015, pleading not guilty to all the charges. 
Amupanda declined to provide details about the charges. 
“I don't want to comment on the matter since it is sub judice but the mix-up you are referring to is a clear testimony of an administration machinery arrested by laxity,” Amupanda said.
Kambala said: “All we want is land and the issue to be solved. We are tired of being told to wait for 2030 when people have been eating for 25 years. They (leaders) too suffered to bring us here. 
We are being prosecuted for standing against greed, corruption, nepotism and elitism. We will not give up.”
Nauyoma, who was elected secretary general of the Namibia National Students' Organisation a week ago, said they will not give up on the call for the land crisis to be resolved.
“We remain firm on our conviction regarding the matter of the master means of production, which is land,” he said.
The three initiated a campaign last year called “Affirmative Repositioning” which demanded that government finds a solution to the housing problem so that people can build their own houses and avoid paying high rentals.
They were also responding to media reports on the alleged dishing out of land by City of Windhoek councillors to relatives and 'special' members of society.
The decision by the three to occupy land in the suburb of Kleine Kuppe in Windhoek led to their suspension from the Swapo Party.
This is not the first time that the case against the three has been derailed due to technical reasons.
Mbumba said that the endorsement of the suspension took long because the politburo was waiting for clarity from the party disciplinary committee to pronounce itself on the issue.
Last year, Mbumba admitted to The Namibian that the top four suspended Amupanda although they knew that they were not empowered to do so. 
The mandate to suspend members falls with the politburo, while the top four can only make recommendations for the suspension, which can be endorsed or rejected. 
Mbumba hosted a press conference last Tuesday where he announced the suspension of the three youth leaders who have been a thorn in the flesh for the Swapo leadership.
It was at the briefing that Mbumba declined to provide the media with the exact charges against the trio since the Swapo disciplinary committee has started investigations into the matter.
 

The Namibian