Swapo Marches for Nujoma

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WINDHOEK Hundreds of Swapo party members in the Khomas region on Saturday marched from Katutura to the Regional Council office to hand over a petition to defend the Founding President Dr Sam Nujoma against increasing insults levelled against him by the public through the media. Singing Swapo revolutionary songs, the party members carried placards some of which read: “Leave our Founding Father” and “Any weapon aimed against Dr Nujoma will not prosper”. The members expressed what they termed “utter disgust of latest attempts to discredit the name and person of Nujoma”. In a petition handed over to Khomas Regional Governor Sophia Shaningwa, the party members condemned both the private and public media, in particular the national broadcaster, the Namibian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC), saying they were being used in the dirty campaign to tarnish the name of Nujoma at every available opportunity. They charged that the campaign has become particularly vociferous in recent weeks. Nujoma became the centre of insults through NBC-Radio call-in programmes after he refused to attend to the demands of the committee claiming to represent ex-combatants. The committee has demanded among other things remuneration of N$8 000 per month, employment up to the age of 70 and that their children get free education. The demonstrators asked the media to stop abusing the freedom of the press, especially when utterances that border on character assassination of the “true sons and daughters of the Namibian soil” are made. They also asked the media to refrain from publishing or broadcasting materials that are clearly aimed at promoting and fomenting tribalism and destabilising the existing hard-won peace and unity in the country. The media that are funded by the state have a national responsibility, that of promoting national peace, unity and development. “Those who are entrusted with these institutions are strongly directed to strictly adhere to the media code of ethics,” they said. At the same time, the group challenged the so-called committee of ex-plan combatants to come up with a Swapo movement liberation resolution, if at all there was any, after Namibia achieved its independence. The committee should state the number of that resolution and the year it was passed, so that they can prove their honesty to the public, otherwise they will be regarded as misleading and misguiding the nation. The party members emphasised the need for the NBC to stop entertaining unwarranted claims of the so-called ex-plan combatants. Meanwhile, Shaningwa said she will hand over the petition to the relevant authorities. She said insults directed at Nujoma will not be tolerated and urged Swapo members and sympathizers to stand together to defend the Namibian people against imperialists. “If you touch one, you touch all,” she said to a thunder of applause. The group promised that the march was plan A, but should the media continue to air programmes that entertain disunity and tribal utterances, serious action would be taken. Efforts to get comment from the NBC proved fruitless. – Nampa