Veterans call for expulsion of LPM leaders from Parliament

Andrew Kathindi

The Namibia National Veterans Association (NNLVA) has called for the Landless People’s Movement (LPM) leader, Bernadus Swatbooi , to be removed from Parliament.

This follows his remarks regarding Founding President Sam Nujoma.

Swartbooi called the Founding President “thug” and a “liar” in a heated debate in parliament, statements which drew condemnation from the Office of the Founding Father. “We therefore request the honorable Speaker of the National Assembly and his duty to apply the Chamber’s code of conduct and lay charges against the two LPM leaders, namely Bernadus Swartbooi, and Henny Seibeb in particular, for their possible immediate permanent removal from the August House. This should also apply to any other members of the House who happen to contravene the rules of the August House,” NNLVA President, Ben Shikongo said.

National Assembly Public Relations Officer, David Nahogandja, however said the Constitution only makes provision to remove a member if they are absent for more than ten days without giving notice, if they die or if they present a letter of resignation.“A Member can vacate their seats as prescribed by Article 48 of the Namibian Constitution and Rule 4 of the National Assembly Standing Rules and Orders.”

The rule further states that a member shall no longer hold a seat in the Assembly if “the member no longer represents the party in the Assembly by which the member was nominated as a candidate at the election for the Assembly or by which the member was nominated in terms of any provision of the Constitution, provided that the validity of a decision of or any proceeding in the Assembly shall not be affected by the vote or participation of a Member who subsequently vacated his/her seat in terms of this provision or by the fact that a vacancy existed in the Assembly at the time of such decision, and provided further that the Speaker shall be informed forthwith of a Member’s vacation of a seat under these circumstances by the party concerned.”

Swartbooi is currently also facing possible legal action after Labour minister Utoni Nujoma turned to his lawyers to demand a written apology, after a heated exchange in Parliament.

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