NDP Leader Chased Out of an ECN Meeting

THE leader of the National Democratic Party, Lukato Martin Lukato, claims he was kicked out of a stakeholders’ meeting on Friday by police for questioning the neutrality of the proceedings.

The political stakeholder meeting, which took place in Katima Mulilo, was a preparatory gathering of political parties for the upcoming local and regional elections as well as voter supplementary registration hosted by the Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN).

Lukato claims he was banned and removed for allegedly shouting at Zambezi regional governor Lawrence Sampofu questioning why he was chairing a meeting that was supposed to be presided over by an ECN official.

The police allegedly acted on the orders of Sampofu who immediately demanded that they arrest Lukato for disorderly conduct, but the politician allegedly resisted arrest and was instead escorted by police to the door.

A clearly offended Lukato told The Namibian yesterday that as a political figure, he has earned the title ‘honourable’ and the treatment he received at the meeting was unbefitting for a political figure such as himself who deserves respect.

“I was targeted by the regional governor Sampofu in order to prevent me from exercising my fundamental right to raise up issues which concerned the people on the ground,” he said.

Accusing Sampofu of dictatorial behaviour, Kukato maintained that it was unfair for the governor to chair a meeting that was supposed to be neutral as the principles of democracy demand free and fair elections, transparency and the rule of law.

The Namibian could not reach Sampofu despite several attempts and messages to his phone yesterday.

ECN director Paul Isaacks yesterday said he received a letter of complaint from Lukato on Saturday.

“I immediately tried contacting my officials there to find out what transpired but I did not get hold of them. Therefore, I only have Lukato’s side of the story so I cannot comment on the matter right now,” he said.

Police regional commander Boniface Mukendwa denied that Lukato was escorted out but said they asked him to leave the venue.

Mukendwa said Lukato was raising issues which had nothing to do with the meeting and went into an argument with Sampofu.

Source : The Namibian