Swartbooi calls Nujoma an "idiot"

15 Feb 2017 18:20pm
By Anna Salkeus
WINDHOEK, 15 FEB (NAMPA) – Member of Parliament (MP), Bernadus Swartbooi on Wednesday called his former boss and Land Reform Minister, Utoni Nujoma an “idiot”.
Swartbooi made the utterance in the National Assembly (NA) while Nujoma was delivering a ministerial statement on the controversial Land Bill, which was tabled in Parliament in November last year, but was withdrawn to give sufficient time for MPs to study the document.
“He is insulting people. He is an idiot,” Swartbooi uttered repeatedly while Nujoma was reading his statement.
Nujoma said his ministry felt compelled to set the record straight on a number of issues due to continuing divergent public discussions on the Land Bill and other land issues.
He said the ministry received various contributions made at different platforms, where historic events and colonial experiences were recounted to appeal to vulnerable communities.
Nujoma added that those who were claiming to be advocating for the landless communities, were misrepresenting facts to the people.
Midway through Nujoma’s speech, DTA of Namibia President, McHenry Venaani rose on a point of order, calling on the minister to stop reading his statement, which he said was “uncalled for” as political parties were not consulted on the Land Bill.
Venaani interjected on Nujoma’s point that the nation was made aware of the objectives of the Land Bill and that political parties attended the regional and national consultations, which were held.
NA Speaker, Peter Katjavivi then addressed Swartbooi to confirm whether he had called Nujoma an idiot.
“If that is correct, please withdraw your statement honourable member as this is not with keeping in Parliamentary language. That term is not acceptable,” Katjavivi said.
Swartbooi immediately stood up from his seat and acknowledged that he had indeed referred to Nujoma as an idiot.
“Honourable Speaker, I meant what I said that I think that the honourable member is an idiot, but I withdraw it on the basis of your request and I shall not repeat it again for the quorum of the house and for the respect of the honourable members,” Swartbooi said.
All People’s Party (APP) President, Ignatius Shixwameni also shared sentiments that he did not understand the point of the ministerial statement and dialogue that it provoked, because it is “opening Pandora’s box that president (Hage Geingob) closed when the Bill was withdrawn”. He too asked Nujoma to cease his speech.
The August House then adjourned for 10 minutes.
Upon resumption, Katjavivi informed the House that he had consulted Prime Minister, Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila and Chief Whip of the NA, Eveline !Nawases-Taeyele on the matter, and decided to stop Nujoma’s statement and dialogue between the MPs.
The House adjourned till Thursday.