Police and NDF operations a threat to democracy: LPM

16 May 2019 15:40pm
WINDHOEK, 16 MAY (NAMPA) – Landless People’s Movement (LPM) national spokesperson, Utaara Mootu on Thursday slammed the recent alleged brutality by the Namibian Police Force (NamPol) and Namibian Defence Force (NDF) against citizens.
In a media briefing here, Mootu said security is part of the public’s rights and it should be a priority in Namibia, but that the extreme measures the forces take in their execution are wrong and threaten democracy.
“We cannot say the operations to fight crime are completely bad, but the problem is how they do it, violence does not dignify human security,” she said.
Mootu was referring to the just-concluded Operation Hornkranz - which was replaced by Operation Kalahari Desert to step up efforts against crime. Members of the public reported violence against them by the forces.
She further said if the NDF is to be involved, then crime in Namibia should be declared a state of emergency.
The spokesperson continued saying that soldiers put in the street is a threat and intimidation to the opposition parties’ campaigns for election this year.
“If I am seen in my LPM attire and the NDF guy does not like me, he will obviously beat me up for being LPM. What will make them listen to me in an LPM t-shirt if they cannot listen to someone they just found in the street or at a bar?”
LPM anticipates that if an opposition party member is found campaigning in the streets or going into people’s houses, the police or NDF will stop them, which Mootu said would infringe upon the private identities of people to make sound democratic decisions.
“These operations are much linked to dictatorship,” she charged, further saying that if the government does not resolve these brutalities, LPM as a party of civil society would seek assistance from the United Nations to bring solutions to the problem.
Contacted for comment, NamPol’s Inspector General, Sebastian Ndeitunga said the operation is about protecting democracy rather than threatening it as claimed, adding there are organised crimes happening in the country and should be dealt with because these are the threat to democracy.
“Cities are facing serious threats from criminals and we cannot sit idle seeing criminals harassing people limiting their freedom of movement, speech and business,” he said.
Ndeitunga said those saying the operations threaten democracy have no political agenda to offer the nation and should avoid making themselves a laughing stock as the majority of the public is happy about the operations.
The police earlier said they are investigating the reports of violence during Operation Hornkranz.