The Namibian (Windhoek)

Namibia: Improved Security for Pendukeni and Jerry

SECURITY around two top Swapo leaders, Pendukeni Iivula-Ithana and Jerry Ekandjo, will be upgraded.

Hage Geingob, the third contestant for the position of Swapo Party vice president, already has police security.

"We are putting the logistical arrangements in place and it might still happen that improved security measures for the two will start this week," Police Inspector General Sebastian Ndeitunga told The Namibian.

This came after a government vehicle allocated to Ekandjo overturned and burned out two weeks ago. The incident is being investigated.

The accident raised questions over the security of Swapo politicians, a few weeks before the elective Swapo congress which will decide on the country's next president.

According to Ndeitunga, Geingob's security was stepped up long ago. "We beefed up his security because he was the first Prime Minister as well as to other security issues which I cannot divulge. This means that no security improvements will be made with regard to him.Â"

Iivula-Ithana and Ekandjo will each get an additional bodyguard and a vehicle to accompany them wherever they go.

"Keep in mind as ministers we already have provided them with security but will now improve it."

In the build-up to the Swapo congress of 2004, the three candidates vying for the country's presidency, Hifikepunye Pohamba, Nahas Angula and Hidipo Hamutenya, were provided with full-time police protection.

Referring to the Ekandjo accident, Ndeitunga called on the nation to be calm, saying good progress has been made with the investigation.

"We will finalise it soon and will then inform the public about the findings and the recommendations made to prevent a reoccurrence of such an incident," said Ndeitunga.

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