The Landless People’s Movement (LPM) has alleged that a SWAPO councilor in Otjiwarongo is preventing it from registering new members in the town.
LPM spokesperson, Joyce Vivian Muzengua, accused Otjiwarongo constituency councillor, Julius Neumbo, of “intimidating, fear inducing and war mongering talks against LPM grassroots mobilizers in Otjiwarongo”.
Muzengua claimed that Neumbo had illegally confiscated 58 voter cards from LPM supporters.
“We also condemn in the strongest terms the Otjiwarongo police for working in covert activities with SWAPO and Neumbo in suppressing peaceful citizens’ views,” Muzengua said.
“The police seem not to act on complaints laid by the LPM mobilizer at Otjiwarongo police station. We condemn local intelligence service agents in Otjiwarongo who follow our mobilizers and intimidate them at workplaces. Just last week one of our mobilizers did not sleep at his house for fear of being attacked or abducted in the night.”
She called on State security agents, the police and SWAPO activists in the area to respect and abide by the laws of the country, while urging the office of the Ombudsman, human rights organizations and the United Nation to investigate and take notice of human rights violations.
“Otjiwarongo has a bad history of political violence and we sternly warn Neumbo to desist from such acts of provocation and agitation. Let the citizens decide democratically on their choice of political parties to support.”
Contacted for comment on Wednesday, Neumbo said the allegations by LPM were false and baseless.
He said the movement is registering people under the pretext that it would allocate them residential plots.
“I was told on 26 June that there are people registering people to get land illegally. Because I was out of town, I informed the police and the deputy mayor of Otjiwarongo to check what was going on. People flocked to the house of a certain Frans Kupembona where some left their voter’s cards or identification documents with him.
“Upon my arrival, I met Frans and I asked him why he was registering people to get land illegally? I took the cards from him because what he wanted to do is illegal,” Neumbo said.
He claimed that Kupembona later told him that he had been promised N$35,000 by the LPM if he registers new members in the town.
The SWAPO councilor added that he would soon call a community meeting to give back the cards to their owners.
But Kupembona denied ever promising people land.
“I never promised to give people land and I was not promised money by anyone,” he said.
Namibian Police's Otjozondjupa regional commander, Commissioner Heinrich Tjiveze, said he had heard about the allegations from LPM leader, Bernadus Swartbooi, who reported the matter to him on Wednesday.
“He came to see me making general complaints and I told him to give me something concrete that I can work on. I am still waiting for him to come,” Tjiveze said.