A senior government official is accused of hitting a female Ugandan parliamentarian with his cane and calling her delegation “prostitutes” during an altercation at a buffet lunch in a Windhoek hotel. The attacked parliamentarian is a member of Uganda’s ruling party, the National Resistance Movement (NRM), of which that country’s president, Yoweri Museveni, is the head. Apart from the physical assault, it is also alleged that Mvula ya Nangolo, the special advisor to the Minister of Information and Communication Technology, accused the politician, and other women in her delegation, of prostitution at the Safari Hotel on Tuesday.
President Hifikepunye Pohamba appointed Ya Nangolo as special advisor to Information Minister Joel Kaapanda about three years ago. Having struggled to get hold of Ya Nangolo telephonically since Wednesday, this reporter decided to visit him at his office yesterday for comment, but the advisor refused to answer any questions. Walking away from this reporter, Ya Nangolo fumed and repeatedly indicated that he did not want to talk about anything.
The Ugandan MPs are in the country to study Namibia’s forthcoming elections. The National Resistance Movement occupies 263 of the 375 seats in the National Assembly of Uganda. Namibian Sun understands that the diplomatic embarrassment is being handled quietly in the top echelons of government, with Minister Kaapanda claiming to know nothing about the incident when contacted on Wednesday. Some have it that the incident could affect relations between the two countries but the Namibian government is apparently pulling out all the stops to avoid a criminal case being registered with the police. According to staff at the hotel, Ya Nangolo approached the table at which the Ugandan delegation was seated and started hurling insults at Uganda, its leadership and the female MPs at the table. “He started to call them names, saying they only come here to do prostitution and a lot of other dirty things,” a shocked hotel employee told Namibian Sun. Ya Nangolo, also known as a poet, allegedly told the delegation to read one of his books, in which he wrote about them on “page 95”. “When the women responded and asked why he was saying those things and that he should say it somewhere else, he started to hit the woman on the head with his stick.”
The scene is said to have drawn a lot of attention and embarrassed the senior government officials who were hosting the foreign delegation. It is also claimed that Ya Nangolo is prone to episodes of volatile behaviour, which was confirmed by a high-ranking official in the ICT Ministry. “Yes, he has a problem but his condition has been under control for some time now. It has not gotten to the point where he becomes violent,” the official said. Kaapanda on Wednesday said he had not seen his special advisor the whole day. “I have not seen him today [Wednesday], I do not know whether he is at work or at home, but I have not heard of what happened, I must first establish what happened,” Kaapanda said. “It would be very unfortunate if such a thing has happened but I will find out what happened and see how to deal with it.” Kaapanda said Ya Nangolo showed up at the office briefly on Wednesday but that they did not get a chance to meet.
The minister however maintained that he would seek details relating to the hotel fiasco linked to his advisor. “I have been in a meeting the entire morning and I will continue with my search after 14:00,” Kaapanda said yesterday. Shortly after Namibian Sun’s reporter signed the entrance register at the ICT Ministry’s building yesterday morning, Ya Nangolo emerged from the main door on the second floor. He kept walking while the reporter introduced himself and stated the purpose of the visit. “I do not want to talk to you. Go away. Do not follow me, I am going to the toilet. Have you no respect? Go away,” he said angrily. Namibian Sun again tried to call Ya Nangolo’s office but the phone was unanswered and his mobile was powered off since Wednesday.
Source: Namibian sun.