By Patience Nyangove and Elvis Muraranganda
Former Deputy Minister of Land Reform, Bernadus Clinton Swartbooi, has been removed as a Swapo parliamentarian, following his recent remarks criticising the ruling party, and him alluding to turning the Landless People’s Movement (LPM) into a political party.
While announcing Swartbooi’s removal as an MP on Wednesday, Swapo Secretary-General, Nangolo Mbumba, said the party would wait to see whether the former deputy minister would follow through on his threat to “resign within 30 seconds”, if he is recalled from parliament.
Swartbooi’s utterances at a recent LPM meeting in Keetmanshoop have been making headlines this week.
He accused Swapo of drying up State coffers over the past 27 years, while no significant industrialisation and job creation programme had taken place.
He also claimed that the ruling party has never considered the issue of the return of ancestral land as a major priority.
He also referred to Swapo as the Ovamboland People’s Organisation, and said that he was “99.9 percent not Swapo”.
M b u m b a said he had notified National Assembly Speaker, Professor Peter Katjavivi, that Swartbooi had been withdrawn as an MP.
“The reasons for his withdrawal are self-evident in his conduct, utterance and general attitude, expressed in the public towards the Swapo Party, its functionaries and government, on diverse occasions and on various matters,” Mbumba said.
Swartbooi is expected to hold a media conference today, Thursday, 27 July.
Paula Kooper, a national executive member of the Swapo Party Youth League (SPYL), is expected to take his place in the National Assembly.
During an interview with Confidente, just hours before Mbumba’s announcement, Swartbooi indicated that he has already drafted his resignation letter from the party.
Swartbooi said he will continue speaking out, whether he is inside or outside the party. He also accused the party’s leadership of being corrupt.
‘’The moment they will recall me, I will resign. It’s the same thing as them intending to expel me. Within seconds of them recalling or trying to expel me I will resign. I have already drafted the letter. These corrupt Swapo l e a d e r s think they will fire me and I will go to court to fight for membership. I will not go to court to fight for membership,” Swartbooi said.
Swartbooi added that he doesn’t really care about being recalled from parliament, as he does not regret his actions.
He added that the country’s parliament is one of the weakest institutions in Namibia.
“People across the country are all tired of these elite leaders, who are compromised,’’ Swartbooi said.
Swartbooi also vowed to deal with Mbumba.
“Nangolo Mbumba keeps on saying he will deal with me, as if I am cards in a gambling house; I will deal with him. I am not afraid of him,’’ he said.
He added that Mbumba had recently been sent by President Hage Geingob to talk to him.
‘’Swapo must be disciplined by the Namibian nation. Mbumba sent people to try to talk to me, but I said to them no. I said Geingob should call me himself, he is elderly I will respect him and go to him, if he wants to talk to me.’’
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015