Former Swapo member urges respect for Geingob’s passing amid water crisis in Tsumeb

Hertta-Maria Amutenja

Former Deputy Minister of Information and Communication Technology, Engel Nawatiseb, who was once a member of Swapo, has voiced his concern over the party’s actions amidst the mourning of late President Hage Geingob.

Nawatiseb, who has left Swapo to join the Landless People’s Movement (LPM), expressed distress at the Tsumeb municipality’s decision to suspend water services, particularly targeting pensioners, on a day meant for solemn remembrance.

Nawatiseb did not mince his words, criticising the council which is dominated by Swapo councillors, Independent Patriots for Change and Popular Democratic Movement.

“It is unethical for me to speak on my party shift. The Tsumeb council is busy suspending the water of pensioners. People are in limbo as we speak. This is all being done by the council led by four Swapo councillors, including the mayor, two independent Patriot for Change (IPC) councillors, and one Popular Democratic Movements (PDM) councillor,” he stressed.

The Tsumeb municipality announced this week that it would host a candlelight vigil in memory of Geingob who hails from the area.

“In honour of the legacy and leadership of our dearly departed President, Geingob, we invite you to join us for a solemn candlelight vigil as we remember and celebrate the life of a remarkable leader,” the municipality wrote on its social media platform.

Nawatiseb stressed the irony of the situation, emphasizing that the municipality’s action is unjustifiable considering the timing when the nation is mourning.

“Those seven councillors are busy cutting pensioners’ water. We cannot tolerate that on the day we should be gathering to mourn our late president. Swapo must be told to respect the passing of our leader,” he cautioned.

Adding that this unexpected turn of events follows his call for a new generation of leadership within Swapo nearly two years ago, a decision that aligns with his belief in supporting a party led by the youth.

He further stated that LPM has welcomed him and his family, citing confidence in the party’s potential to bring about robust and unique change in Namibia.

The Chairlady of Tsumeb Community Concerned Representative (TCCR) Liscken Claasen, echoed the same sentiments, expressing deep disappointment as the community faces both the loss of their president and a sudden water supply cut.

“They told us in the community hall that they know about the unemployment rate, they told the community members they could have come pay what they have. But out of the blue, they just cut the water. I tried talking to the councillors, and they have not responded yet. I believe they are busy with the candlelight preparation. It is a very sad situation,” she revealed.

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