PM Denounces Tribalism

PRIME Minister Hage Geingob called on political leaders not to use tribalism as a means to score political points because they are campaigning for the elections.

“We should desist from tribal utterances and promoting tribal groups at the expense of our national identity,” Geingob told an unusually full parliamentary chamber, warning that there is a storm brewing and that the country is slowly witnessing the emergence of tribalism.

Geingob was responding to questions from Swapo member of parliament Kazenambo Kazenambo who wanted to know what is happening with the genocide and reparations process.

The Prime Minister said people only turn to tribal identity for cover.

He said that when things are going well with an individual they speak of themselves in singular terms and when things are not going well, they speak in plural terms and group themselves according to their tribe.

“No Namibian should feel left out,” he said, adding that there have been an emergence of disturbing statements written by youth leaders which can only be described as tribal and divisive.

He said youth leaders’ statements were apparently brought about as a consequence of statements made by Hardap governor Karina Hanse-Himarwa who is accused of making negative statements about the four ‘O’ regions in the north of Namibia.

He said Hanse-Himarwa’s statement was not made in reference to any particular group of people, but it prompted some Swapo Party Youth League leaders to “foment the uprising of the majority Oshiwambo against the minority who they claim are ramping up attacks on the Oshiwambo people”.

He dismissed the youth leaders’ claims and said the statements were made by frustrated and divisive newcomers who masquerade as comrades and loyal party cadres. Geingob said the country gained independence because the nation, as a collective, stood up against colonial oppression.

He called some of the comments as irresponsible, unacceptable and unpardonable.

“We fought against racism, apartheid and bantustan tribalism,” he stressed adding that careless statements will just reverse the gains of independence and replace it with the new evil of tribalism.

He also took on citizens who have been making statements that it is now “their time to eat”.

“I have one message for you. If I were to be elected President as the Swapo Party candidate, you won’t eat with me,” he said adding that the country will eat but no tribe whether majority or minority will eat alone.

He said if that is how things were before, it is wrong and he will not replace a wrong with another wrong.

He called on people not to create problems just because they think “peace is boring”.

Source : The Namibian