Swapo Sues Opposition

THE ruling Swapo party has initiated legal moves to recover money from opposition parties which challenged the 2009 election results about four years ago.

Nine opposition parties led by the Rally for Democracy and Progress, took Swapo, the Electoral Commission of Namibia and government to court, demanding an audit of the 2009 election results.

Swapo won more than 75% of the 2009 votes, while President Hifikepunye Pohamba retained his position.

Swapo seeks to recover expenses incurred during the court case which the opposition parties eventually lost and were ordered by the Supreme Court to pay the ruling party’s legal costs.

The opposition parties started legal proceedings in January 2010, and in March of the same year, the High Court struck the case off the roll on technical grounds.

The Supreme Court overturned that decision and sent the case back to the High Court in September 2010. With that decision, the

Supreme Court also ordered that the ECN and Swapo pay the opposition parties’ legal costs in the appeal.

The High Court, for the second time, again ruled against the opposition parties in February 2011, after which the parties once more took the case to the Supreme Court.

In its final judgment on the election challenge, the Supreme Court dismissed the opposition parties’ appeal in October 2012 and ordered them to pay only Swapo’s legal costs in the appeal.

Swapo sources said the party started the move to recover the costs after it became apparent that the opposition parties were not working towards resolving the cost issues and settling the debts.

Although Swapo secretary general Nangolo Mbumba said he was not aware of the move, attorney general Albert Kawana confirmed that a legal process was underway.

Kawana could not give further details, while Mbumba said it was a matter of parties getting together and reconciling books to determine who owes who and how much.

RDP spokesperson Jeremiah Nambinga also said he was not aware of the move by the ruling party to recover money from the opposition parties. He, however, said Swapo also owed them money in legal costs emanating from one of the court orders granted earlier in the case.

Kawana, Mbumba and Nambinga could not give figures involved but court documents seen by The Namibian yesterday show that Swapo is owed slightly more than N$595 000, which a source close to the ruling party said was the only amount where a warrant of execution is ready.

The source also said Swapo could be owed in excess of N$1 million from four other pending warrants of execution.

Source : The Namibian