Namibia: Outcry Over Hengari's Arrest

INTERNATIONAL organisations have voiced their concern over the arrest of Popular Democratic Movement parliamentarian Inna Hengari.

She was arrested on Tuesday along with activist Dimbulukeni Nauyoma and Michael Amusheelelo for leading an unsanctioned demonstration over the high unemployment rate.

The High Court had earlier dismissed an application to stage the demonstration as a non urgent issue.

Some of the organisations and individuals that have condemned the arrest includes spokesperson for Zimbabwe's opposition political party the Citizens Coalition for Change, Fadzayi Mahere, spokesperson for Zambia's United Party for National Development Joseph Kalimbwe, human rights lawyers and the Young Democrat Union of Africa, where Hengari is a secretary general.

"We all know member of parliament (MP) Hengari is not a criminal. We call for her release," Mahere said on Twitter.

Human rights lawyer Fillemon Shikomba on Tuesday also took to Twitter to say that he reached out to the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights.

On Shikomba's behalf, Kalimbwe said: "Our friend and lawyer, Nambili Mhata, has just joined our legal team alongside Kadhila Amoomo, to help Hengari and Nauyoma be safely released. Other lawyers have been assigned to Julieta and Micheal Amushelelo. Talking about unemployment is not a crime.

"Taking away young people's freedom on Independence Day defeats the very essence of what Independence Day represents!" Shikomba said.

PDM MP Vipua Muharukua said there is a huge divide between the 'haves' and 'have nots' to the point that it's causing the Namibian youth to suffer.

Muharukua said this in an interview with SABC news on Tuesday.

"Fifty-one percent of young Namibians do not have employment and the young people make up 60% of Namibia's population and that's a huge amount of energy sitting idly that Namibians can use to make ourselves a better nation," Muharukua said.

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