Landless People’s Movement (LPM) leaders Bernardus Swartbooi and Henny Seibeb did not submit themselves to a Parliamentary disciplinary committee last week after having raised objections to the process.
Parliament’s spokesperson, David Nahogandja, confirmed to Windhoek Observer that Swarbooi and Seibeb did not attend a disciplinary meeting that was scheduled for last week Friday, and instead, had written a letter to Parliament through their lawyers with a list of objections.
“The Standing Committee of Privileges will meet this week to decide on the way forward, Nahogandja said.
LPM spokesperson Eneas Emvula when quizzed by the Windhoek Observer about the party leadership no-show and objections, said “the process itself wasn’t done with due diligence. The processes and procedures were not properly followed. The letter that was written to the party on 15th did not give a detail of charges, which is procedural.”
He further accused certain members of the Standing Committee of Privileges of being conflicted.
“There has been no communication to certain members to recuse themselves. Witnesses such as honourable Venaani is also a member of the committee which is not right,” the LPM Spokesperson said.
Emvula further said that it has not been made clear whether National Assembly speaker Peter Katjavivi, who chairs the Privileges Committee would preside over the disciplinary hearing.
“He is the same one who instituted the ban, so it wouldn’t be right. The Speaker took a decision unilaterally. LPM cannot comply with instructions that have been flawed from the start,” he said.
“This is a dirty strategy to keep LPM leaders out of Parliament while important issues like the budget are being discussed. It is sabotaged.”
The Standing Committee of Privileges convened a preliminary hearing last week meant to set out and share the rules of engagement and how to go about with the hearing process.
Dates for the hearing process itself are yet to be announced.
This comes as the LPM last week lodged an appeal at the Supreme Court against a decision by High Court Judge Kobus Miller, to dismiss Swartbooi and Seibeb’s application against Katjavivi’s decision to bar them from Parliament chambers.
Swartbooi and Seibeb were hauled from Parliament after they were deemed to be disruptive while President Hage Geingob was engaging MPs in a question and answer session after delivering his State of the Nation Address.