WINDHOEK: Government has condemned recent statements made by a senior member of the Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP) about the plight of the inhabitants of the Caprivi Region.
RDP’s Secretary for Agriculture Rudolf Kamburona, in his address at a political rally held in the Sibbinda Constituency there last Sunday, is said to have accused the Swapo Party-led government of “just pretending to care for the inhabitants of the Caprivi Region, while in actual fact it is merely deceiving the residents”.
Kamburona further accused the Government of allegedly doing very little to end the prosecution and trial of the more than 100 suspects facing high treason charges for over 11 years in connection with the failed attempt to secede the Caprivi Region from the rest of Namibia in August 1999.
These statements and other alleged accusations by Kamburona prompted Minister of Information, Communication and Technology Joel Kaapanda to issue a media statement on Thursday in which he publicly denounced the statements and accusations as “irresponsible, baseless and unfounded”.
“These accusations are not only baseless and unfounded, but also expose RDP’s Rudolph Kamburona for his ignorance about the separation of powers as contained in the Namibian Constitution,” charged Kaapanda, before explain that the Namibian judiciary system is an independent body and cases of accused persons are tried in a court of law.
“The government has no influence in the country’s judicial functions. We should respect the judiciary system and its functions because it is one of the custodians of our Constitution, our supreme law,” said the minister.
He pointed out that the suspects are receiving a fair trial because they all have access to legal assistance paid for by the Namibian Government.
“The high treason trial process has been transparent and open for any scrutiny. The Namibian Government, therefore, wishes to appeal to people of goodwill, particularly the inhabitants in the Caprivi Region, not to be misled by opportunistic politicians who are using political manoeuvres in order to score votes,” said Kaapanda.
According to the minister, the Swapo-Party-led government cares equally for all citizens of the country and distributes resources for development in all of the country’s 13 regions in order to help improve the quality of the lives of all Namibians.
“The record of the Namibian Government regarding infrastructure development in the Sibbinda Constituency is there for everybody to see. Indeed, even Rudolf Kamburona made use of such development, such as roads and telecommunications while campaigning for his party there,” stated Kaapanda.
He went on to say that Government provides support services to the communal land farmers in the Caprivi Region in the form of subsidised fertilisers and ploughing services, and therefore, the RDP politician “is not telling” the truth when he says Government does not support communal farmers.
The minister indicated that Kamburona also accused the Namibian Government of allegedly failing the country’s education and medical infrastructure, and responded by saying this is not true as Government is busy “reforming the education system, improving the existing medical and health infrastructure and providing new ones”.
“The Namibian Government is, therefore, condemning in the strongest possible terms statements and accusations made by Kamburona, a desperate politician who only wants to disturb peace and stability in our country,” he stated.
Kaapanda called upon the RDP politician to “become an apostle of peace and stability instead of being an apostle of chaos in our peaceful country”.
“It remains to be seen whether he (Kamburona) will survive the political test to which his political party has been subjected to,” said Kaapanda without shedding more light on the alleged test.