Swapo CC member sues party member for N$370 000 for defamation

Charles Mubita

Swapo central committee (CC) member Charles Mubita has taken legal action against Erongo-based fellow party member Reinhold Shipwiikineni for defamation over a WhatsApp audio.

According to court documents issued on 12 March, Shipwiikineni purportedly made derogatory remarks, likening Mubita’s role to being used “like toilet paper” by those violating party principles.

Shipwiikineni’s statements in the audio transcript provided as evidence, reportedly suggested that Mubita was being used by individuals violating Swapo’s constitution and rules, betraying the party and engaging in activities detrimental to the party’s interests.

Shipwiikineni has been vocal about the manner in which Swapo’s CC opted to endorse Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah as the party’s presidential candidate for the November elections.

He further insinuated that Mubita’s involvement in the party was tarnishing his educational background and political career.

“My message to you, comrade Mubita, I send this very strongest and powerful message to Dr Charles Mubita. Comrade Mubita, what you need to know is that the future of toilet paper is only the drain. The house of the toilet paper is only the toilet pot. This is what you need to register in your mind. You are tarnishing your own future political career.

That is why I come to this point and send this very strongest message straight-forward to you,” reads the message.

Mubita is seeking both financial compensation of N$370 000 with interest, along with an order compelling Shipwiikineni to retract the defamatory statements and issue an unconditional apology within five days of a court order.

Additionally, Mubita seeks punitive costs against Shipwiikineni for the harm caused.

Shipwiikineni confirmed having received the summons, but denied having shared an audio in which he mentioned Mubita.

“If Mubita wants to become rich, he must concentrate on his own economic emancipation instead of creating political conspiracies to collect money from a poor person like me,” he said.

He challenged Mubita to present his evidence in the courts because he does not recall making an audio about Mubita.

He also said he found it strange that a CC member used the service of another CC member (Mubita’s lawyer Sisa Namandje) to go up against him.

“These people think they are above the law and they own Swapo. Swapo is not a private business to be used to sue someone. Swapo is not a dictatorship. I am even worried about the party’s leadership. The two are conflicted. I am going to oppose the cooked summons,” he said.

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