No Vote for Violence

Michael Amushelelo

The N$1 000 reward by the Namibia Economic Freedom Fighters (NEFF) to a man who assaulted a Swapo member at a public meeting in Windhoek is disgraceful conduct that should never be tolerated in politics.

NEFF leader Michael Amushelelo proudly posted pictures of him handing over N$1 000 to the accused this week, describing the attacker as a legend.

As if Amushelelo’s payment was not deplorable, NEFF lawmaker Longinus Iipumbu gleefully proclaimed that Moses Ndjene did the “right thing” by slapping Swapo branch coordinator Bonifatius Munango at Mix Settlement on 6 April.

“The way this person has reacted is a signal that people are really angry. The services are not being channelled through,” said Iipumbu as he justified the violence as an act of self-defence when Ndjene was forced to leave the meeting when he shouted that Swapo has been lying to the masses for too long.

Ndjene was right to shout out his frustrations about false promises and a lack of service delivery by Swapo. That’s the beauty of democracy. But resorting to violence is crossing the democratic line.

Violence is antithetical to the values of an independent and democratic Namibia, where debate and the contestation of ideas are paramount.

It is worse that the NEFF, a party in the lawmaking system, is the one promoting violence so publicly without caring about the long-term implications of the damage to society.

Namibian voters should not be tricked by opportunistic politicians who are hijacking their suffering in order to gain votes.
The country has seen too much violence generally in society and that should not become the norm to address political differences.

The NEFF is a franchise of Julius Malema’s EFF in South Africa, but never did we imagine they planned to import violence into Namibia’s relatively tranquil political environment.

Namibian voters should not reward violence with votes.

A violent culture will destroy the entire country.

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