Lubango Brings Tears to Parliament

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By Kuvee Kangueehi Windhoek Relatives of victims of the Lubango dungeons yesterday burst into tears in the public gallery of the National Assembly after the august House rejected the debate on the ongoing predicament in which direct and indirect victims of Lubango find themselves. Swapo Party MP Jerry Ekandjo objected to the motion, which was introduced by Congress of Democrats (CoD) MP, Kalla Gertze. The objection was seconded by Prime Minister Nahas Angula and Peter Iilonga. As the house was split on the motion, Speaker Theo-Ben Gurirab opted for a ballot, and 39 members, all from the ruling party, voted against the motion while 13, all from the opposition parties, except the Nudo Party, voted in favour. Two members from the Nudo Party together with Swapo MP William Konjore decided to abstain. Soon after the motion was thrown out, Gertze left the chamber and held a brief conference in his office where he expressed his disappointment and tried to console the emotional relatives. A clearly disappointed Gertze said Ekandjo decided to throw the pain and the suffering of Lubango into the face of the victims. “He is telling the parents, sisters and brothers of the Namibians who died in the dungeons to go to hell.” Gertze, who is also the Chairperson of the Breaking the Wall of Silence group, said they will not leave the issue there and will approach the International Tribunal Court to look into the matter. “We will take the matter to another level and the war criminals must be brought and tried before the tribunal.” He said they are a minority and that is why they are getting this type of treatment from parliament. He however applauded Konjore for his strong stance not to support his fellow parliamentarians in objecting to the motion. “Konjore was left to stand alone on the island of the Swapo benches.” Gertze further expressed his disappointment with Prime Minister Nahas Angula. He said he had an earlier discussion with Angula on the issue and Angula admitted that mistakes were made and that leadership was needed to deal with the issue. “As the Prime Minister, I thought he would provide the leadership in this matter for us to deal with it.” He added that with the rejection, the Namibian parliament has denied the bereaved families, relatives, friends and concerned Namibians the opportunity to have a ritual to bury at least the souls of their beloved ones. “The motion would have allowed them to take and digest the hard news that their beloved ones are no more and they will never return.”