The Namibia Economic Freedom Fighters (NEFF) is organising yet another mass protest on Wednesday in solidarity and to demand the release of its arrested commissar for economic development Michael Amushelelo as well his co-accused Affirmative Repositioning activist, Dimbulukeni Nauyoma, who are fighting for bail in the Katutura Magistrate’s court.
The police Inspector General Sebastian Ndeitunga has however reminded the public against lawlessness when undertaking such demonstrations, saying “some people do these things deliberately to provoke the situation, which is not supposed to be the case as we ought to be law abiding citizens.”
Ndeitunga said the police were notified of the NEFF planned mass protest, although on a very short notice. “Notices are to be given within 72 hours in order to give the police ample time to prepare manpower and logistics for such huge protests,” he said, while appealing for peace.
NEFF’s Kalimbo Ipumbu told the Windhoek Observer that, such arrangements were being made and at an advanced stage. He said briefly before heading in court, where the two activists are still fighting tooth and nail to be granted bail.
The same protests are what led to the arrests of Amushelo and his wife, Nauyoma as well as NEFF’s president Mukwiilongo including five others, because they were regarded unlawful since it was not sanctioned and approved by the law enforcement.
Others who were arrested are, Laurence Mwatile, Emily Mununga, Annacky Amupanda, Risto Ithikwa, and Julieta Amushelelo
On Friday, the police had to use teargas and fire rubber bullets in order to disperse thousands of people who gathered at China Town protesting against counterfeit goods sold at the busy business hub. Many sustained injuries while a number of people were arrested.
In the bail application of the two the State is arguing that they are facing serious charges and that they fear that the duo might interfere with police investigations. They are charged with public violence, and incitement of public violence, while Amushelelo faces an extra charge of assault by threat.
Last week, NEFF’s Amushelelo led a demonstration at China Town by shutting down shops. This was in retaliation to the Namibia Revenue Agency (Namra) action of burning confiscated items worth N$5 million which were labelled as counterfeit products. He thus argued that, most Chinese products are also fake, therefore needed to meet the same fate.
“Demonstrations like these, need to be properly coordinated, because they are difficult to handle. However, we will handle the situation as it unfolds. In democracy one needs to be flexible to avoid any frictions by all means possible. But if they are law abiding citizens, I am certain they will do it accordingly by following due processes,” said Ndeitunga.
Political analyst Rui Tyitende, foresees a huge turn out tomorrow, and has thus urged the police to be prepared and maintain law and order. He then suggested that, they should use a demarcating system in order to control the crowds, by not reaching a certain distance either to building, roads or law enforcements.
“NEFF knows the public discontent, and has read the Anti-Swapo national mood well, thus they are trying hard to lure and attract as many supporters and sympathisers as they try to make it to the top of the system, which is to rule. They are doing all these things fully aware of the risk whether physically or not,” he said, adding these are political tactics where NEFF hopes to garner more support. 0Both Amushelelo and Nauyoma remain in custody, and are currently fighting for bail. The main trial of all eight has been postponed to July, 5.