Current track



Swapo slammed for overreacting to EU, Itula meeting

Written by on April 14, 2024

… EU still consulting after stern warning

International relations expert and public policy analyst Marius Kudumo has slammed Swapo after its vice president, Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, issued European Union (EU) ambassadors a stern warning against interfering in Namibia’s affairs.

This comes after German ambassador Thorsten Hutter hosted a lunch in honour of Independent Patriots for Change (IPC) leader Panduleni Itula on behalf of the EU in Windhoek on Tuesday.

In attendance were ambassadors from Spain, Portugal and France.

Nandi-Ndaitwah’s sentiments come after minister of internatonal relations and cooperation Peya Mushelenga summoned the European ambassadors and rapped them on the fingers over the meeting.

Kudumo says: “ . . . overreaction on political matters from political actors – even if not necessary. In my view, this is an overreaction, and it would not have been the same if it were not an election year.”

He says the 1961 Vienna Convention defines diplomatic relations, including the roles, functions, actions, and behaviour of states in interstate relations.

“Diplomats as representatives of their states have the duty to report on political, economic, and social matters in the receiving state.

“Therefore, they meet with governments, political parties, and non-state actors to carry out their representation and reporting functions if they are serious and effective representatives of sending states,” he says.

Kudumo says according to the Vienna Convention, the functions of a diplomatic mission include ascertaining conditions and developments in a receiving state, reporting on this to the government of a sending state.

“To achieve this, diplomats rely on various sources of information. Equally, they have a duty not to interfere in the internal affairs of a receiving state,” he says.

Political analyst Henning Melber says Swapo’s strong response was expected, considering the meeting was seemingly an interference in domestic policies.

He says discussions on government matters should remain within the purview of the government itself.

“From a government perspective, it is particularly annoying that the initiative was taken by Germany’s ambassador.

“The very country which left a genocidal mark on its colonial rule,” Melber says.

He says the incident in which Bonifatius Munango, a Swapo branch coordinator, was slapped further raises concerns about the potential escalation of violence in what should be a democratic and peaceful electoral process.

The EU and its member states have yet to respond to questions sent to them on the matter.


While addressing the party’s central committee, Nandi-Ndaitwah yesterday accused the EU ambassadors of attempting to interfere in Namibia’s elections.

Swapo says the meeting was “unusual” in terms of diplomatic protocol and etiquette as discussions included the upcoming elections and the IPC’s strategies to address grievances among liberation struggle fighters.

“Comrades, there is nothing wrong for a diplomat to meet leaders or members of opposition parties, but to discuss issues of state matters and to be directly involved in the internal politics is a highly questionable form of diplomacy.

“By extension, there may be a strategy to interfere in our elections, as the statement has the smell of an element of regime change,” Nandi-Ndaitwah said.

The vice president called out Germany for its hypocritical “diplomatic statement” with regards to the genocide negotiations.

“The same embassy went further to say that a particular leader of the opposition is widely projected to be the next president of Namibia. What a diplomatic statement, particularly from a country with whom we still have a serious pending issue,” she said.

Nandi-Ndaitwah then turned her attention to statements made by the Namibia Economic Freedom Fighters (NEFF) and accused the political party of indirectly declaring war.

“If one is saying ‘we will deal with them in the same manner they dealt with the colonial regime’, that is a direct call for an act of war and military confrontation,” she said.

She said her party wants a “peaceful campaign as has been the case over the years”.

Following the meeting, international relations minister Peya Mushelenga on Wednesday afternoon summoned the diplomats and addressed them over the meeting.

He said although Namibia is a small state, it does not mean it does not have the equality of sovereignty as larger states do.

IPC spokesperson Immanuel Nashinge yesterday said the party has no comment on the government’s stance.

“We have better things to do for our country – villages to visit, people to engage and policies to formulate,” he said.

The post Swapo slammed for overreacting to EU, Itula meeting appeared first on The Namibian.

Current track