Attempts to discredit Oshikoto Regional Coordinator, Armas Amukwiyu ahead of the tightly contested Swapo Party elective congress intensified this week with Namibian Police (Nampol) Inspector General, Sebastian Ndeitunga, ordering an investigation into the youthful leader.
Insiders told the Windhoek Observer that Ndeitunga had personally dispatched two police officers to Oshikoto, who were investigating claims that Amukwiyu he had illegally acquired weapons, including AK47s with the intention of destabilising the country.
The officers armed with a letter from the Nampol chief, first proceeded to Amukwiyu’s house and later to his office in Omuthiya as part of their investigation, which was confirmed by Ndeitunga.
According the Nampol chief, a member of the public had tipped them off that Amukwiyu, who is set to stand for the Swapo Secretary General position against Urban and Rural Development Minister, Sophia Shaningwa, at the elective congress, had bought guns, including an assault rifle.
Ndeitunga said that although it is not a crime for an individual to legally own a gun, or guns under the country’s laws, their hand was forced after they were informed that Amukwiyu represented a national threat.
He, however, said investigations by the police have so far yielded nothing.
“We are almost done with the investigations, but everything is leading to zero. Even people that were mentioned in the allegations are denying this matter,” Ndeitunga told the Windhoek Observer.
It is not clear why Ndeitunga had been roped into the matter, ignoring the local police as is the case with all police investigations. Contacted by the Windhoek Observer, Amukwiyu confirmed he had been questioned as part of an investigation.
He said the allegations against him smell of a ‘witch-hunt’, especially coming on the eve of a Swapo Politburo meeting on Friday which will nominate candidates for the party’s top four positions at the November elective congress.
“I was very surprised for someone to come up with such claims out of the blue,” Amukwiyu said. “For such allegations to surface can only be a witch-hunt. Buying firearms for what? Everything just doesn’t make sense.”
“I only have one gun, a shotgun acquired in 2013. I have engaged my lawyer regarding the matter.”
He said although he took the allegations seriously, he would cooperate with the police, including searching his house and his farm for the alleged weapons.
Allegations against the Oshikoto Regional Coordinator come as he has faced an uphill battle to be re-elected with party Acting President Hage Geingob and Secretary General Nangolo Mbumba having nullified regional elections which had picked him as their preferred candidate.
This is not the first time that a senior ruling party member has been accused of having weapons; in 2004 the late Hidipo Hamutenya on the eve of the Swapo Extra-ordinary General Meeting was also accused of having weapons, allegations which were later found to be baseless.