A senior Namibian government official has been 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.
It is not yet clear who the MP is.
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.
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.
The diplomatic embarrassment is being handled quietly in the top echelons of the Namibian government.
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.
HOW IT HAPPENED
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 local media.
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.