Oh Dear… Election Violence in Opuwo

I was away at the weekend with some friends and the subject of the upcoming regional and local elections came up.

Having been in-country for the previous national elections I mentioned that there had been some violent clashes around the country (including Oshakati where two of my friends are living) but that Opuwo was safe.

Prophetically I said something like “Opuwo is a nice sleepy town, the rest of the country may be in uproar but Opuwo will just carry on more concerned with cattle than politics so unless a cow runs for office all should be fine”. Turns out almost as I was saying this there was political trouble brewing in the town proving the adage that if Dave says it then it automatically becomes false.

Very unfortunately there was some violence between supporters of two major parties.

From the New Era:

OPUWO – A fight between DTA and Swapo supporters left two Swapo members with severe injuries. Five other people received minor cuts and bruises.

Full story can be found here on newera.com.na (warning: contains an image of one of the casualties)

Apparently there was then a crowd outside the police station protesting the arrests but I didn’t see anything.

On Monday they appeared in court. Again from the New Era:

OPUWO – Three men who were arrested in connection with the violent clashes between DTA and Swapo supporters appeared in the Opuwo Magistrate’s Court yesterday morning, in the presence of a large crowd that had gathered since early morning to hear the court proceedings.

Full story again can be found here on newera.com.na

The opinion of my local colleagues seems to be that this was an unfortunate incident that got out of hand and not a sign of things to come. The elections will be held this coming Friday and Saturday so let’s hope they pass off as peacefully as last years presidential ones.

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