LPM demands for public apology for arrest of Mayor

Staff Writer

The Landless People’s Movement (LPM) is demanding a public apology from the Namibian Police for the arrest of Windhoek Mayor Sade Gawanas, at Okahandja Park informal settlement in Windhoek on Monday.

Member of Parliament and Deputy Leader and Strategist of LPM, Henny Seibeb claimed the statement issued by Deputy Commissioner Kauna Shikwambi on behalf of the Police was false.

“We demand a public apology because the matter happened in a public space. Kauna Shikwambi is a pathological liar. The statement she issued on Monday was not true. She was not at the Police station, someone told her lies that she went on to write. Is she trying to say the mayor and driver were intoxicated? She must recall that statement,” he demanded.

“The driver of the police vehicle allegedly hooted but they did not move, the driver allegedly proceeded but he saw how one of the public members pointed them with the ‘middle finger’. As a result, the driver reversed to question the use of the finger. However, this erupted into an argument which led to the arrest of one public member who was later identified as her Worship, Mayor Sade Gawanas.

“Our expectation is that crime prevention related matters must be solved amicably, without recourse to violence even when dealing with, unruly and uncooperative people, and intoxicated people too, who, without provocation, are insulting and even assaulting the officers on duty. As law-abiding citizens, let’s cooperate and respect each other,” read the statement.

However, Gawanas, who was handcuffed and arrested by the police on Monday denied pointing a middle finger at the police officer, as the police report stated but allegedly only intervened in an exchange between a police officer and residents of the area.

“A few residents and I were standing at the corner talking about issues they were facing at that specific junction. Suddenly a Namibian police car that was speeding came our way and we had to jump out of the road and one of the residents which was an elderly man shouted at the police van and asked why they were driving like that. “The vehicle then stopped and reversed and the passenger on the left side rolled down his window and then the driver started shouting at the resident. I then intervened and told the police officers he could not speak to a resident like that but rather speak in a respectful manner and address the issue.

The passenger officer then jumped out the vehicle with his AK 47, confronted me then they arrested me,” said Gawanas.

Independent Patriots for Change (IPC) also demanded for a public apology to the mayor and to the public at larger.

“IPC would consider a public apology to our mayor and the public as the most appropriate act of restoring confidence in the police by the public. The shocking scenes of the First Citizen of our Capital City is a shameful demonstration of a system of administration falling apart. The ruling Swapo administration has completely disconnected itself from sanity and has lost it all,’’ said IPC.

Affirmative Repositioning movement’s activist-in-chief, Job Amupanda also condemned the Mayor’s arrest, saying he learned with ‘’disgust, the arrest and harassment of the Mayor of Windhoek, councillor Sade Gawanas. Understandably, the Mayor is now and then called by the community to attend to their concerns in line with section 11 (5) of the Local Authority Act. This the police is aware. No matter the circumstances, the police are supposed to handle the matter differently than arresting and harassing the Mayor,’’ Amupanda said in a brief statement issued on Monday.

By Observer