LPM party insiders claim formerdeputy minister was ‘humiliated’

Engel Nawatiseb

Former deputy minister of information and communication technology Engel Nawatiseb has resigned from the Landless People’s Movement (LPM) after he was allegedly humiliated and embarrassed by party members, LPM sources claim.

Nawatiseb joined the LPM in January, but resigned shortly after being officially welcomed.

Party sources told The Namibian last week that Nawatiseb was assigned a vehicle by the party for mobilisation purposes at Tsumeb, leading up to the LPM’s fifth anniversary celebration.

The anniversary took place at Tsumeb this month.

However, some party members at the town reportedly demanded to use the vehicle as well.

“Some old party members at Tsumeb felt the man was new in the party and he was given the car. They started demanding it too,” a source said.

The source further claimed that these party members felt threatened by Nawatiseb’s position in the party.

“People felt why is it only Nawatiseb driving the car and not them?” the source said.

Following the complaints, the party allegedly took the car from Nawatiseb.

“Juniors tried to humiliate and embarrass him. No one from the party stood up to protect Nawatiseb’s integrity,” the source claimed.

Another party source said Nawatiseb was insulted by a powerful young leader in the party about the usage of the car.

“Apparently he wasn’t sharing the car with others. But once a car is assigned to you, it’s difficult to share, because once it is broken it becomes your responsibility,” another party source said.

The source said the car was taken away a day after the party’s fifth anniversary.

“On Sunday morning when they took the car, they embarrassed and insulted the man,” the source said.

LPM spokesperson Lifalaza Simataa said Nawatiseb did not report the incident to the party.

He said the party vehicle was assigned for mobilisation for the LPM’s fifth anniversary.

“Once the event was done, it was reassigned. This is the normal process. The LPM actively assigns and reassigns vehicles in accordance with need and plan,” he said.

Simataa said since this year is an election year, party members will be travelling to several regions.

“Therefore, vehicles will be assigned [accordingly]. This is normal practice. He was aware of the assignment’s purpose,” he said.


Simataa said no one demanded the car as Nawatiseb was the only licensed individual within the party’s mobilisation team at Tsumeb.

“We believe this is an attempt to smear the LPM, when Mr Nawatiseb has actively expressed that his political affiliation is based on money and his personal gain,” he said.

This happened after Nawatiseb told Namibian Sun that he joined the LPM as a job opportunity existed.

Simataa said when Nawatiseb was with the LPM, he said LPM president Bernardus Swartbooi was the best candidate for Namibia’s Presidency.

“Now that he is in Swapo, he talks about how their presidential candidate is the best. His character has been displayed in his documented statements.

“Any more expressions about the LPM being the reason he left would be him attempting to slander the party,” Simataa said.


Nawatiseb declined to elaborate on his departure from LPM, but denied that he was insulted.

“I closed this chapter long ago. Why should I cry over a bicycle if my class is immeasurable?” he asked.

Nawatiseb announced his return to Swapo earlier this month.

In his statement, he cited a “strong historical bond” between his family and Swapo as the reason for his return.

Nawatiseb also expressed unwavering support for Swapo presidential candidate Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah.


He addressed those who have criticised his political decisions, dismissing them as “unpatriotic newcomers” who have not contributed to Swapo or Namibia’s liberation struggle.

“I will remain unfazed by recently coined names such as ‘opportunist’, ‘betrayer’, ‘sell-out’, ‘brave’, ‘thick-skinned politician’, ‘mentor’, ‘hard nut to crack’ and others by unpatriotic newcomers who contributed less than nothing to the Swapo party and the struggle for liberation for which many Namibians have died,” Nawatiseb said.

He apologised to anyone offended by his past decisions and urged peaceful elections.

Nawatiseb pledged to use his “energy and political capital” to campaign for Nandi-Ndaitwah and Swapo in the November elections.

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