MPs rebuke violent behaviour

By Maria Kandjungu

NAMIBIAN Economic Freedom Fighters (NEEF) parliamentarian Kalimbo Iipumbu was on Tuesday forced to apologise to Swapo legislator Evelyn Nawases-Taeyele for his aggressive and almost violent behaviour towards her last week after she allegedly insulted him and called him a burden

Ipumbu was pressured into apologising by other MPs, especially leader of the official opposition McHenry Venaani who noted that despite what was said, Iipumbu’s reaction was shocking and unjustifiable.

“It [the incident] shook my core… and as a leader from this side (of opposition) and regardless of the provocation, I am humbly requesting you to just apologise,” said Venaani adding that lawmakers need to represent the values and principles that they want to see in society.

“If we cannot control our tempers, we look like we are incapable of adjudicating on social and economic issues of this country,” he said.

Iipumbu tried without success to defend his case but other MPs were not having it, ordering him to sit down if he was not prepared to apologise.

“Just like I said last week no one wants a woman to be treated in an unequal manner. What happened was not intentional, but I wish that each and every one of you members could have heard what she said… I was trying to instruct her to say that what she was saying was wrong. Maybe I should say what she said to me… Perhaps that is what you want to know,” he defended himself.

The lawmaker further added that he was of the opinion that women should be groomed to respect men.

“No one wants a woman to be touched. I have a wife… I am a married man. And one thing we should put in our minds is that we should groom our women to respect men, it is very important. And I apologise to honourable Taeyele,” he added.

The apology was also pushed for by Justice Minister Yvonne Dausab who stated that violence and aggressive behaviour had now become frequent and common in the National Assembly, a place that was supposed to be dignified.

National Unity Democratic Organisation (Nudo) parliamentarian Joseph Kauandenge also took a stand and urged MPs to argue with dignity and class.

“We will disagree and agree but we do it with class. Throughout history there has been a perception that men are the heroes but men were supported by women… there cannot be heroes among men without women. And make no mistake the women are not here in this parliament because they are women, they are here because they are capable,” he said.