The chief of the Namibian Police, Inspector-General Sebastian Ndeitunga says he is ready to face the Affirmative Repositioning (AR) movement in the High Court over his decision to impose a moratorium on public demonstrations in Windhoek during the period June 13 to 18.
This is after AR failed to honour an agreement with Ndeitunga to withdraw an urgent court application the movement submitted against that decision.
The AR has planned a June 16 mass action and petition handover against the envisaged construction of a N$2.2 billion parliament building and Ndeitunga’s ban had affected their scheduled activities.
Meanwhile, the AR say they are not worried about “those things” and what is important to them is that the planned mass action will go ahead as planned on Thursday.
Speaking to New Era yesterday, Ndeitunga said the AR had written to the lawyers representing the police to give an update on the withdrawal of the application.
“What I was notified today was that they could not meet the deadline today [yesterday] to withdraw their court application, because apparently court officials were not available and they will do that tomorrow [today] morning,” explained Ndeitunga.
“Our lawyers are 24 hours on standby to challenge what is submitted in court if it is not withdrawn – they always have been ready.”
The unpopular decision by Ndeitunga to impose the seven-day moratorium on all public demonstrations is believed to have been necessitated by “other security considerations due to multiple international events taking place in the capital” during that period.
These events, which are currently underway, are said to include the 31st session of the African Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) and European Union Joint Parliamentary Assembly which will draw about 350 parliamentarians from 28 EU countries and 79 ACP countries, as well as the 16th edition of the Council of Southern African Football Associations (Cosafa) Cup.
AR plans to petition the legislature against the envisaged construction of a N$2.2 billion parliament building, which the government maintains is only at its feasibility study stage and the plan could still change.
“The parties agree the AR mass demo shall proceed in accordance with the law…. The AR herewith undertakes to withdraw the … urgent application on or before June 12, 2016 (yesterday),” a statement read.
The two sides indicated in the joint statement that there was no consensus as to the venue where the demonstration and the handing-over of the petition should take place besides the AR announcing earlier that Parliament Gardens will be the point of convergence.
That meeting tasked Ndeitunga with making the necessary arrangements with the office of National Assembly Speaker Peter Katjavivi relating to the receipt of the petition at the venue to be agreed upon by yesterday.
Katjavivi maintained that his office is ready to receive the petition pending the outcome of the talks between the AR and the police.
“In terms of the venue they did not come back to us, because they have to resubmit a new notification to the police that meets the requirements set in the Public Gatherings Ordinances.”
AR’s Job Amupanda remains unmoved by these, saying that they have secured the date and it is all systems go but refused to disclose the venue at this stage.
“What is important to us is that June 16 is continuing. There was a joint statement with the police and we expect Katjavivi or somebody from that office to come and receive our petition,” Amupanda said.
“If they do not come there or don’t take us seriously, we are going to redirect the march straight to parliament. And by the time we get there we are going to be in session with this Indian man who is coming to negotiate the uranium deal,” stated AR.