Katima councillor, journalist in ugly confrontation

Obrein Simasiku

A Swapo local authority councillor at Katima Mulilo manhandled a journalist who was filming the ugly scenes of the demolition of houses of people who illegally constructed their dwellings at Lwanyanda. The acts were caught on camera by a bystander and in full view of police officers, as councillor John Ntemwa charged at the reporter in a brief encounter before they were separated.

The two continued to hurl insults and counter threats at each other, as Ntemwa could be seen moving away, before turning towards the OneAfrica freelance reporter, identified as Jackson Chibata and pouncing on him, leaving his T-shirt torn. The brief scuffle saw the filming equipment of Chibata falling to the ground.

“Stop abusing your power, I can challenge you, who do you think you are? I will f@@k you up, and cut your b@@lls,” Chibata was heard saying in the video after the assault, while Ntemwa retaliated saying, “I will beat you up, it seems you don’t know me.”

A case of assault was with CR no 83/09/2022 was registered with the police yesterday, with charges of assault and damage to property relating to the broken video camera. The camera according to Chibata is valued at N$23 000.

The fracas allegedly came about as Ntemwa, who is the council’s management committee chairperson, was stopping the crowd, including journalists from filming the demolition process which saw over 300 mud houses razed to the ground.

“I freelance for One Africa TV and when that incident happened I was summoned to go and cover, but to my surprise I was approached by two police officers when I arrived, who informed me that I am not allowed to film. When I questioned, they said town council management had given such an instruction. So I called my supervisor, and wanted to talk to whoever was in charge, but the officer declined including John himself,” narrated Chibata.

“After that he said, f@@k you, i don’t want to talk to you. Later on after the event, I wanted to engage him, on why he conducted himself in a manner of harassing a media person, but he then insulted again, and that is where I reacted, and then everything escalated as seen in the video,” claimed the freelancer.

Counter accusation

The councillor on his part, without denying the commotion, countered saying, the journalist was the one that hurled insults first after he [councillor] including the town council, CEO Raphale Liswaniso turned down the offer to speak to the media.

“He called me a coward and that I was afraid to address the media. At first he approached me and I refused to attend to him because he was already talking on the phone with One Africa, at that point I could not go on air. So together with the CEO we said it was not the right time because a lot was happening. It is like he was aiming at me, as you can see the insults he hurled, as much as I tried avoiding him,” argued Ntemwa.

Ntemwa today opened a counter case with CR no 97/09/2022, of crimen injuria and assault through threatening.

By Observer