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Vol 50 No 16

Published 7th August 2009


Behind the sidelining of General Martin Shalli

The General is out, SWAPO party wrangles continue, corruption is suspected and China earns a bad name

The suspension of the popular chief of the Namibia Defence Force (NDF), Lieutenant General Martin Shalli, on 22 July, has shocked Namibians and angered soldiers. Some regard it as an attempt to divert attention from a corruption scandal with an intriguing Chinese connection. Others blame divisions within the governing South West Africa People's Organisation, between supporters of President Hifikepunye Pohamba and those of ex-President Sam Nujoma. On 28 July, Information and Communication Minister Joel Kaapanda said such claims were 'irresponsible and dangerous'. The daily Namibian had reported on 23 July that 'top military and other security forces are well aware of the internal frictions within SWAPO and that those close to Nujoma would like to tarnish the image of President Pohamba'.

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