11.11.2009

Government denounces Violence

GOVERNMENT yesterday condemned the politically motivated violence between Swapo and RDP supporters at Outapi on Sunday.

Information Minister Joel Kaapanda said Government was not happy with the violence and political parties should not disrupt the rallies of their opponents.

The Minister did not spare his own party.

He said that Government "condemns the action and behaviour of the Swapo supporters who converged at the roadside leading into Outapi".

He said this should not happen again, in the interest of peaceful elections later this month.

Kaapanda also took issue with the RDP who he accused of allegedly pre-empting the violence by taking weapons to the rally.

He also condemned the RDP leaders for allowing their members to carry weapons to a political rally.

The Minister said the RDP must behave in accordance with the election code of conduct like all other parties and "not provoke violence through provocative actions or statements".

"No one should take the law into his or her own hands," he said, urging those who feel threatened to report to the Police.

"We are concerned; we don't want to see violence during elections," he told the media.

Kaapanda said the Police had arrested culprits from both sides and some have already been charged.

The Police had to use teargas to control a violent standoff between Swapo and RDP supporters at Outapi on Sunday.

Swapo supporters are said to have stormed the RDP convoy of vehicles as it attempted to leave Outapi.

Meanwhile, the Congress of Democrats (CoD) says it was also subjected to intimidation and violence over the weekend.

Secretary General Tsudao Gurirab said in a statement that on Sunday a mob of Swapo supporters broke up his party's campaign activities at Aussenkehr in the South.

He added that CoD election material was destroyed in Oshakati on Monday. He said the party had laid charges with the Police in both cases. (the namibian)

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