KK Accuses Govt of Spying

SWAPO backbencher Kazenambo Kazenambo has accused the government of tapping into and bugging people’s phones, a practice he branded as backward and dictatorial.

The former youth minister was commenting on the budget vote of the Ministry of Safety and Security in the National Assembly on Tuesday.

“This thing of tapping (into) and bugging people’s phones is primitive. It is done in backward regimes and we are not one. We are a progressive country,” he said.

Mines and Energy Minister Isak Katali intervened, saying those officials snooping might have followed procedures such as getting permission from the courts.

Kazenambo responded: “It is only in a dictatorial, totalitarian and abusive regime [that this is done]. It will start like this, tomorrow will be poisoning.”

Minister of Lands and Resettlement Alpheus !Naruseb intervened, aising the outspoken former minister that the point he was making is important but it will not be fair if it was directed to the wrong official as his allegations were related to the work of the national intelligence service.

Kazenambo persistent with his point that the country is not safe if people are being spied on, adding that there are those who are abusing their powers and spying via phones due to political differences.

“We know its happening. Let’s stop it,” he said.

Minister of Information and Communication Technology Joel Kaapanda tried to intervene and assist Kazenambo, but he was not given a chance to make his point, aising the former minister on democracy after he was not given the platform by the moderator.

Kazenambo also refused to be aised by fellow Swapo parliamentarian Kaapanda: “No, I don’t need your assistance. You can have it for yourself.”

Minister of Safety and Security Immanuel Ngatjizeko responded saying his ministry is not responsible of spying through phones.

Concerns by parliamentarians of intelligence gathering being politically abused have been raised in the past.

The Namibian has also reported in the past about the Communications Act that was passed in 2009 that gives Government free reign to monitor telephone calls and electronic mail in the name of crime prevention and national security.

The “interception of communications” clause in the Act was viewed as an attempt by Government to clamp down on its critics, including journalists. Part of the Act gave the Namibia Central Intelligence Service (NCIS) sweeping powers to spy on private citizens without judicial oversight.

The old Namibia Central Intelligence Service Act of 1998 dictated that a court warrant was required for the NCIS to intercept or monitor communication and search individuals’ premises.

The new Act, infamously known as the Spy Bill also gave sweeping powers to individuals of any level at an interception centre to monitor and intercept communication.

Source : The Namibian