Nekundi did make remarks about “political graves” for opposition leaders

Erasmus Shalihaxwe

Despite denying that he told Swapo supporters to bury opposition leaders, Windhoek Observer has obtained an audio recording of Deputy Minister of Works and Transport Veko Nekundi clearly stating that he wants to see the ‘democratic graves’ of both Panduleni Itula and McHenry Venaani.

He was speaking at a Swapo rally in Emono village, Omusati region, over the weekend.

“If we are saying in Emono, where we are, if there is anything breathing opposition parties, it must be buried. On November 27 November when the election results are released, I want to see Itula’s grave here. A grave for DTA (PDM). Here in the open field, there must be graves for Itula and Venaani. Democratic graves,” he said.

Nekundi came under fire on Tuesday after The Namibian Newspaper reported that the politician had instructed Swapo supporters at Emono village in the Oshana region to dig graves for Independent Patriots for Change leader Itula and Venaani, the president of the Popular Democratic Movement.

He was quoted saying that after the November election results are announced, he wants to see the graves of both Itula and Venaani because they need to be buried forever.

When the Windhoek Observer contacted Nekundi on Tuesday to confirm the remarks, he vehemently denied ever uttering such words.

Nekundi further accused the journalist of cooking up the story and claimed that he spoke to the editor, who apologised to him for the article’s headline.

However, in a video on social media platforms, Nekundi is seen telling the crowd to make graves for Itula and Venaani with a big tombstone that no one can remove come election time.

He also accused Venaani of being the grandfather of puppets in Namibia who collaborated with the apartheid South African regime.

The Namibian newspaper senior editorial member, Tiri Masawi, confirmed that Nekundi called the publication complaining about the article, but they did not apologise to him because everything said in the article came from him (Nekundi).

“Yes, we spoke to him, but we didn’t apologise, we didn’t misquote him or anything. We have the audio, and we are going to upload it to our website,” said Masawi.

On Tuesday, one of Swapo’s vocal members, Stephanus Pombili, said Nekundi’s remarks are not in the Swapo party campaign manifesto, constitution, or code of conduct.

Stating that Nekundi and Swapo should focus on the politics of progress, inform citizens about policies the party wishes to implement, and improve citizens’ lives rather than tolerating irresponsible and primitive statements from “sycophants and opportunists,”

“We know that the Swapo party is losing momentum. Nekundi is among the fishrot beneficiaries, but has he honestly instigated hate speech? These tactics stem from those who may have failed to convince voters to support our old-age grandmother. We must persuade citizens to vote for our grandmother by highlighting what she plans to accomplish, which she could not achieve in 34 years, without resorting to inciting hate speech against political opponents,” he said.

Pombili cautioned that desperate individuals within the party are undermining the Swapo momentum and turning it into a tombo political party.

Both the IPC and PDM condemned Nekundi’s remarks for wishing death on their leaders and urged the Swapo party to reprimand him.

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