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By: Andrew Kathindi

Landless People’s Movement (LPM) deputy Henny Seibeb says that the party will challenge the report on his and party leader Bernardus Swartbooi’s conduct in parliament.

The report by the Committee of privileges over the behaviour of the two LPM members during the state of the nation address by President Hage Geingob in April was adopted in the national assembly on Tuesday afternoon, 19 October.

The report was contested by both the LPM parliamentarians and other opposition party MPs before its adoption.

“There are lots of errors as our legal counsels’ submission wasn’t considered, so by next week, we shall challenge the report,” Seibeb told The Villager.

The report was tabled for discussion in parliament last month. After being adopted, the two MPs were reprimanded as per the recommendations of the report.

“Honourable Bernardus Swartbooi and honourable Henny Seibeb, the house has expressed its agreement with the report of the committee on privileges and has decided that you’re both guilty of the breach of clause 3.1.B of the code of conduct,” said Speaker of the National Assembly Peter Katjavivi.

“In that, you have failed to maintain the dignity and the image of the national assembly, which is a matter of high concern. On the instruction of the House, I therefore, as the speaker of the House, reprimand you for both conducts on 15 April 2021.”

“On the instruction of the House, I order the reprimand delivered to be entered into the minutes of the proceedings of this House. So, decided.”

Parliament’s spokesperson David Nahogandja said that the matter was now concluded.

“In terms of what happened yesterday, the matter is closed now. That’s the official record of what has happened. And the implementation of the recommendation of the report.”

According to the report, Seibeb physically assaulted and pushed with extended arms Deputy Director of Security and Risk Management Services Gideon Shuuya. This appears to be corroborated by video footage.

The Committee found sufficient evidence to determine that Seibeb “acted in a grossly improper manner and in so doing his conduct failed to maintain the dignity and image of the National Assembly.

The report further recommended that the mace be “recognized under the traditions and practices of the House and similar practices in the other jurisdictions as a symbol of the Speaker’s Authority.

The was an uproar after Swartbooi dislodged the parliamentary mace on his way to being escorted out of chambers.

“The Standing Rules and Orders are, however, silent on its recognition. The Committee recommends that the Standing Rules and Orders be amended to provide for it.”

Rally for Democracy and Progress objected to the report saying that “it’s only Swapo members who agreed to this report.”

Political analyst Dr Dumba Kamwanyah said the LPM MPs should put the matter to bed as it is becoming a distraction.

“That case in itself should not have ended up where we are. It could have been handled differently, including not expelling the members. It’s a small issue that could have been solved speedily instead of the prolonged process we saw. The dismissal, the courts and so forth.”

“When you have those kinds of petty issues taking up the time and energy of the parliamentarians, then you’re diverting them from engaging in critical issues.”

Julia Heita

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