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Swapo’s Mandela Kapere has called his comrade, Retired General Martin Shali to order for utterances he made over a weekend election rally in Okahandja.
Shali is reported to have used the term “cutting their throats” in a reference to those that have gone to form parties outside Swapo.
Kapere has said while the Shali considers this to be figurative language, it had fallen short of what is expected at rallies within the scope of the code of ethics signed by the Swapo secretary-general, Sophia Shaningwa.
“I just finished listening to the Martin Shali clip, and it’s unfortunate that he made such a statement, regardless of the context it was meant in. Swapo is a signatory of the ECN elections code of conduct, which outlines the climate within which we should conduct elections in our young republic. The words uttered by Gen Shali run contrary to the fundamental ethos espoused within the code.
“It is more unfortunate that these remarks come just the week after SWAPO Party SG directed all regions and central committee members to abide by the code in letter and spirit and further, that they came from a man who sacrificed his youth to advance the liberties we enjoy today in a free and democratic Namibia.
“Cde Shali is expected to be the first amongst us, to defend the civil liberties of Namibians without resorting to such polemical language. We are in an election cycle and we all have and do use colourful language on the campaign trail. Unfortunately, Gen Shali’s remarks overshoot the mark of what constitutes colourful political rhetoric,” he said.
He reminded Swapo members that “…our policies in respect to our political values are well known and spelt out in our political program, constitution and the years of commitment to creating an open democratic and viable Namibian society”.
Kapere said Shali’s words cannot be defended.
“I know Gen Shali to be a principled, fair, and no-nonsense character of a man. I do hope that he will make an unconditional retraction of those remarks, so as to remove any stain from his strong record of service to the Namibian people,” he said.

Julia Heita

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