Basic education minister, Katrina Hanse Himarwa has been accused of using her position to elbow out Landless People’s Movement (LPM) executive committee member and secretary for the Nama Genocide Committee, Paul Thomas, from a delegation list meant to go to Germany to repatriate Namibian skulls.
The minister is said to have flexed her muscle in a bid to settle some old scores with Thomas based on the political differences between the two.
The LPM executive committee member said he has been chucked out of the list due to his political inclinations towards Bernadus Swartbooi and believes that he has been punished for differing with her publicly.
“She used her position to settle a score with a private citizen. She removed my name from a list of a delegation, that is supposed to travel to Germany to collect important historical items and repatriate such to this country. This, I believe, could not be for any other reason than a public disagreement we had and the differences in our political views.”
“But you have the obligation to serve me and people since you have pledged allegiance to the "Namibian Constitution " which is the supreme law of the Land. Administrative Justice dictates that too. So stop abusing the powers of your office,” he lashed out.
The minister however denied knowing Thomas and said he was never a part of her delegation in the first place.
“All I have heard about his name is when Honourable Idah Hoffman was asking for a sponsorship for tickets and accommodation for her team to go to Germany,” she said via a text message.
Speaking to The Villager, chairperson for the committee, Hoffman, however did indicate that the two have been fighting each other on social media and remarked that their differences have nothing to do with the committee and delegation.
“My dear, first of all, Paul knows what is the fight between them, they have their own fights in which Paul is the one who put her on Facebook,” she said.
Hoffman also revealed a letter penned to her by Hanse-Himarwa in response to a list of delegation she wanted to be assisted in connection with the trip to Germany.
It reads, “Kindly be informed that the names of the delegation travelling to Germany have already been submitted by the Nama Traditional Leaders Association. Thus the government could only fund a limited number of the delegation due to the fact that this travelling was not budgeted for.”
“It is unfortunate that your list was received very late after the submission for funding was already processed. You are however still welcome to accompany the delegation, provided you fund your own travelling to the Federal Republic of Germany.”
Hoffman said the exclusion of Thomas can not thus be seen as a targeted attack against him alone by the minister.
He, nevertheless, has not taken lightly of his exclusion from the trip and has further attacked the minister for employing emotions ahead of logic.
“To remove my name from the Nama Genocide Technical Committee “delegation" to collect the human remains of my ancestors while you even don't have the right to do so means nothing to me, but only reflects your immaturity as a ‘National Leader’, in fact it's typical you, you have done so with the Mass Housing, allocation of farms etc. ... history will judge you one day,” he fumed.