LPM MP says Swartbooi called him an ‘idiot’

The Landless People’s Movement (LPM) continues to be embroiled in a bitter internal struggle, with accusations and insults allegedly flying between senior party members.

Harald Kambrude, an LPM parliamentarian and councillor for the Rehoboth West Urban constituency, has accused the party leadership of sidelining him for nearly two years.

In an interview with The Namibian on Monday, Kambrude said the top party leaders treat the party as “their own houses, farms or private businesses” and that they thrive on “bullying people who differ with the party”.

He said his relationship with LPM president Bernadus Swartbooi has deteriorated significantly.

They have not spoken in close to two years after Swartbooi allegedly called him a “devil” at the party’s political action committee meeting at Swakopmund in 2022.

Kambrude said his criticism of the party’s approach in the //Kharas region has led to Swartbooi’s insult.

He claimed Swartbooi called him an “idiot” at the councillors’ conference in January 2023, to which he [Kambrude] was not invited.

“Swartbooi said I was nothing, I was a bottle picker [waste picker] before the party made me something,” Kambrude said.
He claimed nine people reported Swartbooi’s insults to him.

Kambrude believes he is being sidelined by the party leadership.

He said he has been excluded from party events since 2022 and was removed from the political action committee (central committee) after complaining about the leadership’s handling of the party’s affairs.

Kamburude is one of six councillors representing the LPM in the National Council.
“I am an outcast in the party,” he said.

Kambrude said the party leadership also removed him from the political action committee (central committee) after he complained about how it was breaking down the party.

“They just decided to remove me. Up until today, Swartbooi and I haven’t talked. He ambushed me at the opening of parliament this year . . . We talked about small things . . . and then he left.

“Now he is telling people we are on speaking terms. We are not on speaking terms,” he said.

In a letter to Kambrude dated 17 February 2023, party operative secretary (secretary general) wrote: “You are thus entirely relieved of your membership of the political action committee with immediate effect.”

Kambrude said Swartbooi is vindictive.

He said Swartbooi’s clique at the party’s head office in Windhoek has ganged up against party deputy president Henny Seibeb.

“They want Henny Seibeb to withdraw the comments he made. They have surrounded themselves with ‘yes’ people’ who just agree because they can do anything,” he said.


LPM spokesperson Lifalaza Simataa on Monday disputed Kambrude’s claims.
He portrayed Kambrude as hostile and difficult to work with.

“He often lashes out and speaks haphazardly . . . however, these issues were often a difference in opinions and not a difference in policy or politics,” Lifalaza said.

“Kambrude actively isolated himself from the party,” he said.

Simataa said the councillor does not respond to party communication, argues with members, and bashes the party.

He said Kambrude was removed from the political action committee due to his isolation and conduct within the party.

Simataa denied that Swartbooi called Kambrude a devil and an idiot.

“The party, however, felt it would take a sympathetic approach and allow him to finish his term due to his age. However, he has actively threatened to resign and contest as an independent candidate, but he has remained a party member and hasn’t resigned,” Simataa said.


In another party incident, LPM deputy secretary general Eneas Emvula labelled deputy LPM president Seibeb a “lost soul” on social media recently.

He told Namibian on Sunday that Seibeb “remains a lost soul until such a time he comes clean about the allegations he apparently made publicly”.

Emvula did not want to disclose what his deputy president said in public.

“Don’t act as if it’s not your newspaper that made such headlines,” he said.

Seibeb was not reachable for comment. The deputy president has in the past described his relationship with Swartbooi as strained.
However, Swartbooi has dismissed talk of a party split.

“The LPM will never break apart, no matter how hard attempts are made by anyone. We are just on an amazing growth trajectory,” he declared.


The party leadership is demanding a retraction from Seibeb regarding comments he allegedly made to the media.

Simataa on Monday said LPM operative secretary David Eigub has instructed Seibeb to retract the “unfounded and untrue” statements.

“As they are lies that do not reflect the party in any way, shape or form,” Simataa said.

The party is awaiting Seibeb’s response before deciding on any investigations or course of action, he said.

Simataa also revealed that Seibeb has denied speaking to a certain newspaper’s reporter.

When asked about the possibility of expelling or recalling Seibeb from parliament, he assured that such actions were not being considered.

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