Mace could have harmed Geingob, guard claims …as LPM leaders to appear before privileges committee

Andrew Kathindi

President Hage Geingob’s Head of Security, Johan Ndjaronguru, is claiming that the parliamentary mace, which Landless People’s Movement Leader, Bernardus Swartbooi, flicked as he left the chambers has a spike metal head which could have inflicted serious injury to the President.

In a sworn statement to the National Assembly, in possession of the Windhoek Observer, Ndjaronguru, who will appear as a witness before the Standing Committee on Privileges and Immunities to deal with what transpired on 15 April after Geingob delivered his State of the Nation Address, says he was compelled remove LPM Chief Whip, Henny Seibeb, from the chambers after “it was evident the situation would turn into a dangerous one if not put under immediate control.”

“Observing from my seat, it became very evident to me that this situation has not only become volatile, but could also escalate into a situation, which will endanger the life and wellbeing of the President, in particular, as well as the Vice President, HE Nangolo Mbumba and First Lady, Monica Geingos, since the President was clearly the primary focus of their increasing anger.”

Swartbooi and Seibeb are due to appear before the Standing Committee on Privileges and Immunities, chaired by the Speaker of the National Assembly, Peter Katjavivi, on 20 July.

This comes after the two members of Parliament did not attend a previous disciplinary process at Parliament after raising concerns with how the process was being conducted, citing procedural iiregularities. LPM spokesperson, Eneas Emvula, told Windhoek Observer “Good day, yes they will” to whether this time the two would appear.

The disciplinary comes after Swartbooi and Seibeb were hauled from Parliament after the Speaker of Parliament deemed them disruptive while Geingob was engaging MPs in a question-and-answer session after delivering his State of the Nation Address.

Parliament’s Deputy Director of Security and Risk Management Services, Gideon Shuuya, who will also serve as a witness, claims that Seibeb attempted to initiate a scuffle with him and it was at this point, he says, that the parliamentary protection service removed Seibeb. Shuuya further supported Ndjaronguru’s claims regarding the mace, stating that “had the member of Parliamentary Protection Service not intervened, the mace would have most likely hit and injured the President or the mace could have been damaged.”

According to Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) MP, Vipuua Muharukua, who will also serve as a witness, he tried to pacify Seibeb and attempted to convince Swarbooi to leave the chamber as had been ordered by Katjavivi. It was after Swartbooi left the chamber that Seibeb can be seen to slam a copy of the Harambee Prosperity Plan 2 on the table before he was approached by Parliament’s Deputy Director of Security and Risk Management Services, Gideon Shuuya.

“I observed the demeanour between Hon Seibeb and Shuuya and I anticipated a physical altercation.” According to Muharukua, he returned to his seat when he noticed the president’s security detail approaching Seibeb and “the next thing I saw was the physical scuffle at the door of the chamber which I assume that Hon Seibeb was being manhandled by the security officers.”

Meanwhile, Swapo Chief Whip, Hamunyera Hambyuka, claimed that the sight of Seibeb tearing up the Harambee Prosperity Plan 2 in the presence of the President, and throwing the torn document towards Geingob and allegedly attempting to beat up a police officer who was near him, made the President’s officers emotional and hence the forcefully removal of the LPM’s Chief Whip.

“There was a lot of chaos as members of parliament started intervening and making chaos.”

The LPM MP’s committee on privileges appearance comes a day before the duo’s case at the supreme court is to be heard. The case comes after the high court had ruled not to overturn Katjavivi’s indefinite ban of the LPM leaders.

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