State drops charges against Parliamentarian Hengari

Stefanus Nashama

The State last week withdrew charges against Popular Democratic Movement Member of Parliament, Inna Hengari, due to a lack of evidence surrounding her case.

According to a court document seen by Windhoek Observer, the matter against Hengari was withdrawn as there is no prima facie case, and her N$5 000 bail was refunded.

Henagri faced charges of public violence, malicious damage to property and incitement to public violence.

This follows after she was arrested along with activists Michael Amushelelo and Dimbulukeni Nauyoma, during an attempt to protest against high unemployment countrywide on 21 March 2023.

Hengari yesterday told this publication that all actions surrounding their arrests were politically motivated, and there is no question about it.

The Parliamentarian said she was unlawfully arrested shortly after she arrived at the Otjomuise Police Station seeking answers about the arrests of Amushelelo and Dimbulukeni.

“These actions I believe were politically motivated. This is justified by the police move to incarcerate someone simply because they serve in a certain state organ as a member of an opposition party and to silence dissenting voices,” she said.

She described these actions as a dangerous trend in the entire Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) region.

She added that the Namibian judicial system is hailed as one of the most impartial in the entire SADC, and she did not doubt that the court would agree with the sentiments raised concerning her arrest.

“I will make use of all legal instruments available to me, as a citizen, who spoke up in the face of injustice and chose to stand side by side with the young unemployed people of this country, to seek justice for unlawful arrest and malicious persecution,” she stressed.

The politician warned that her arrest and that of Amushelelo and Nauyoma should never be treated as isolated cases, because the continued arrests and detention of dissenting voices are not in line with national values and principles as enshrined in the Namibian Constitution.

“I will be going toe to toe with the state and security apparatus on this,” she said. Hengari, Amushelelo, and Nauyoma were part of the group of protestors at the Katutura Youth Centre, who were told by the police to disperse in five minutes and were subsequently apprehended for allegedly refusing to follow the police’s instructions.

She was granted bail in the amount of N$5 000 in the Katutura Magistrate Court on 24 March 2023.

Thereafter, Nauyoma was also granted bail in the same amount while Amushelelo has been denied bail several times, and has since been remanded in custody.Hengari is, however, concerned about Amushelelo who remains behind bars over the same charges.

“The struggle continues in the fight for justice and freedom for Amushelelo. Myself and the team will continue to support him in his quest for freedom. I hope you all finally understand when we say, that Namibia is not immune to what happens in Zimbabwe,” she expressed.

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