New Era (Windhoek)

Namibia: Swapo, RDP Cross Swords

Windhoek — Swapo MP and Minister for Presidential Affairs, Dr Albert Kawana, has rejected the motion by the leader of the Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP), Hidipo Hamutenya, on the Arab revolts.

Hamutenya's motion dealt with 'the recent uprising in the Arab Maghreb and the Middle East'.

Further, Kawana also rejected that a policy be formulated for Namibia on the issue.

Hamutenya last week rose to speak on the calamity of revolutionary proportions, such as the ones that so suddenly and sweepingly toppled the decades-long and seemingly firmly entrenched regimes in Egypt and Tunisia.

"And is now predictably and ominously threatening to topple the Gaddafi government in Libya, overwhelmingly an African problem whose root cause we need to understand.

What lessons can Namibia and Southern Africa as a whole draw from these events in North Africa and the Middle East?" the RDP president asked.

Further, he stated that it would be tragic if Namibia does not learn any lessons from the uprisings in those countries.

"We should never underestimate the intelligence of the masses and their undemocratic regimes. Nor should we have any doubts about the ability of the masses to bring about fundamental change when they so decide.

"We should resist the temptation to insult the intelligence of the people, by implying that some external forces are using them. The masses recognize the fact that the unemployment rates are unacceptable; that high prices of food and other basic necessities are unaffordable, and that these things are the result of bad governance," Hamutenya moved.

During discussions Kawana told other MPs that people must follow democratic principles - it is only through the ballot box and not through uprisings.

Kawana countered, "If that chaos comes here most leaders will run away and leave the masses. Instigators are never democratic. The masses and youth of Namibia, will never be instigated; they (leaders) will run away and leave you in limbo."

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