RDP accuses Swapo member of slander

ONGWEDIVA: The chairperson of preparatory committee of a belated celebration of the 24th Independence Anniversary held at Omusati Region’s Etayi Constituency last Saturday, Fikameni Haiduwa, is accused of slander.

Making the accusations is one of the Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP) national leaders assigned to the Omusati Region, Eino Heelu, in an interview with Nampa at Ongwediva on Monday.

Heelu expressed disappointment about the way Haiduwa treated an RDP member, Michael Shikongo, during the said celebration.

According to Heelu, the Haiduwa-led committee nominated Shikongo to be part of the preparatory committee and the protocol team just to dismiss him at last minutes on the day of the celebration.

The celebration event took place last Saturday at the Etayi Constituency’s Omutundungu village where the Safety and Security Deputy Minister Erastus Uutoni was the main speaker.

Haiduwa is said to have spearheaded the dismissal of Shikongo from the protocol team by telling him to leave the briefing meeting which all members of the preparatory committee held with Uutoni before the commencement of the celebration.

“Comrade Shikongo was part of the rest of the people in a certain classroom of the Omutundungu Combined School and while he was there Haiduwa called him out of that classroom and told him that he shouldn’t be part of that briefing,” Heelu, who was also part of that celebration, explained.

Shikongo confirmed to Nampa that he has been part of the preparatory committee as from the start to the day of the celebration, just to be embarrassed at last minutes for the reasons only known to Haiduwa.

“They nominated me to the preparatory committee in my absence because they know I am capable of such a responsibility. Therefore, I feel cheated, embarrassed and wasted my time, energy and the petrol I used in my car to go attend preparatory meetings,” Shikongo stated.

The event was hosted under the blue, red and green colours and revolutionary songs of the ruling Swapo-Party.

This, the RDP members believed, has prompted Haiduwa to dismiss Shikongo from the briefing meeting without giving the reason.

Heelu described the nomination of an RDP member to involve in the preparation of a national event, the Independence Anniversary, as a move in the right direction by the leadership of the Etayi Constituency.

“We, as a recognized party in Namibia, condemn the attitude of Haiduwa and the alike who are trying to mix party politics with government issues,” Heelu cited.

He added that it is high time that people start differentiate between government issues and party politic issues.

“What I observed that day is that people tend to turn Independence Day celebration into a Swapo-Party rally, but that should be condemned and should be stopped if we are to live by the law of the land,” Heelu suggested.

He believes Shikongo was disgraced and advised him not to take it lightly, but to seek some legal advice in order to sue those slandered against him.

“I have no comment. He (Shikongo) must speak out if he has personal problem with me,” Haiduwa replied when first approached for comment through his mobile phone on Monday afternoon.

He, however, contacted Nampa few hours later on the same day demanding a face-to-face meeting with this reporter to take place on Tuesday afternoon at the Oshakati Intermediate Hospital where he is employed as a nurse.

“He (Shikongo) was not a member of the preparatory committee. I don’t know how did he get into the briefing meeting, therefore I have called him out of that meeting,” Haiduwa said during a face-to-face meeting with this reporter on Tuesday afternoon.

Responding to Haiduwa’s sentiment, Shikongo said he has other members of the said preparatory committee who can testify against Haiduwa’s denial.

(edited)ONGWEDIVA: The chairperson of a committee established to organise the belated celebration of Namibia’s 24th Independence anniversary at the Etayi Constituency last Saturday, has been accused of slander.

The Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP) national leader assigned to the Omusati Region, Eino Heelu, told Nampa here on Monday that the chairperson, Fikameni Haiduwa, treated an RDP member, Michael Shikongo, with disrespect during a meeting before the said celebration.

Heelu said the Haiduwa-led committee nominated Shikongo to be part of the preparatory committee and the protocol team, but dismissed him minutes before the celebration at the Etayi Constituency’s Omutundungu village.

Safety and Security Deputy Minister Erastus Uutoni was the main speaker.

Haiduwa allegedly dismissed Shikongo from the protocol team by telling him to leave a briefing meeting, which all members of the preparatory committee attended with Uutoni before the commencement of the celebration.

Shikongo confirmed to this agency that he has been part of the preparatory committee from the start to the day of the celebration, just to be embarrassed at the last minute for the reasons only known to Haiduwa.

“They nominated me to that committee in my absence because they know I am capable of such a responsibility. Therefore, I feel cheated and embarrassed, and I wasted my time, energy and petrol to go attend preparatory meetings,” Shikongo stated.

The event was hosted under the blue, red and green colours and revolutionary songs of the ruling Swapo party.

Heelu described the nomination of an RDP member to be involved in the preparation of a national event as a move in the right direction by the leadership of the Etayi Constituency, but stressed that it is high time that people start differentiate between Government issues and party political issues.

“What I observed that day is that people tend to turn Independence Day celebrations into a Swapo-Party rally, but that should be condemned and should be stopped if we are to live by the law of the land,” he suggested.

On his part, Haiduwa said he had no comment, but added that Shikongo must speak out if he has personal problems with him.

He refused to speak to this reporter any further on Monday afternoon, but later arranged to meet the following day.

On Tuesday, Haiduwa said Shikongo was never a member of that preparatory committee, and he does not know how he got into that briefing meeting.

Responding to Haiduwa’s statement, Shikongo said there are other members of that committee who can testify against Haiduwa’s denial of him having been a member of that committee.

SOURCE: NAMPA