Windhoek-Minister of Justice Sackeus Shanghala has strongly warned Namibians against taking part in the mass demonstration planned by the Affirmative Repositioning (AR) movement outside the Oshakati High Court today, saying it is a dangerous route and undermines the integrity of the judiciary system.
AR has organised the #ChedaMustFall demonstration against former Zimbabwean High Court judge Justice Maphios Cheda, who is embroiled in a nasty land row in Oshakati.
Cheda, a former Bulawayo High Court judge, who moved to Namibia in 2011, has been serving in the Oshakati High Court ever since.
“I do not take issue with your rights and freedom to association of expression, not at all, as long as it is done in a civil manner – no threat of violence, no need for tear gas,” said Shangala in parliament on Tuesday.
He said young Namibians should rather convince their organisers to file a complaint with the Judicial Service Commission if they feel that there are grounds for complaint, to file a complaint with the Namibian Police if they feel that there was an infringement of the law, or contact the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) if they feel corruption is involved.
“The basis of my statement today is do not demonise and attack the personae of judges. Disagree with the ruling but do not attack the judiciary as an institution,” he warned.
He said the Namibian House was built on the blood, sweat, tears and other sacrifices of the citizenry and he will protect it.
A poster from AR read: “Objecting and stopping Oshakati Town Council from giving plots to family and friends through corruption and private negotiations, including the plot that was recently given to judge Maphios Cheda, a foreign national who has been in Namibia less than five years, while Namibians have been on Oshakati waiting list for over 20 years.”
However, AR activist George Kambala said the organisation is not surprised that Shanghala would immediately position himself to defend corrupt acts.
“That is what he does. He defended Minister Penda ya Ndakolo who corruptly spent close to 1 million Namibian dollars of public money in Safari Hotel. He stands associated with corruption and when people think of corruption the first person that comes to mind is Sacky Shanghala,” said Kambala in a statement on Tuesday.
He said Shanghala has been failing to fight them physically, ideologically, spiritually and otherwise.
“He has now resorted to the courts and parliament to sustain his personal fight. He will fail the same way he has since 2014. AR remains self-directed, self-defining and self-respecting as opposed to corrupt careerists like Shanghala who have no interest in the pain and suffering of the masses of our people,” he said.
He said Shanghala’s statement must, therefore, be seen as the baseless moaning and groaning of a desperate politician who cannot defeat AR ideas and perspectives in the fight for the masses.
“The #ChedaMustFall protest will go ahead as planned. All logistics are in place. Both the Oshakati Town Council and the High Court, through documented proof, have received our letters. The police have been notified and everything is in place for the protest. No corrupt elite will stop our protest,” said Kambala.
He said Shanghala and other elites must live with the fact that Cheda will not get the plot.
“They must also accept that Cheda will not continue harming the poor and that we are in this country and we will not go away. We will face them face to face, toe to toe and eyeball to eyeball,” he said.
“To the youth it must be clear that the rich will never care about us. This is evidenced by the shenanigans of Shanghala and others. All activists must mobilise and ensure that we all stand up to show that the poor have protectors,” he added.