By Anna Ingwafa Oshakati Founding President and Father of the Nation Dr Sam Nujoma has cautioned against the use of alcohol and drugs. He said alcohol and related drugs have negative effects on young people. "The youth are the future of our country. We should therefore continue to educate them and equip them with relevant technical skills, knowledge, cultural norms and values so that they can play an active role in the socio-economic development of our country," said Nujoma. He called on traditional leaders, church leaders and Namibian people in general to fight against alcohol abuse. Nujoma was speaking at a Swapo rally at Helao Nafindi in Ohangwena Region recently. Nujoma described the Swapo Party congress that took place a month ago as historic. "It was a historic congress in the sense that I have now retired from active politics and passed over the torch to the new leadership after having led Swapo Party for 47 years. I am proud that together we have succeeded in putting our country on an irreversible path of socio-economic development." He thanked those who supported him throughout his life in the quest for freedom and independence and the period thereafter. Nujoma said the new Swapo Party leadership elected under Pohamba is trustworthy. "Pohamba is a fearless freedom fighter and tested cadre who has served the Swapo Party and our country. Africa and the world at large will greatly benefit from his able leadership." Nujoma said presently Namibians enjoy peace and stability and have access to basic services because of good policies by the Swapo Party Government. Swapo Party also promoted the policy of National Reconciliation, which has united the people divided by apartheid colonialism. He urged Namibians to fight against tribalism, regionalism and individualism. "These negative vices do not only have the potential to disrupt peace in our country but can lead to confrontation and bloodshed. We have gone to war because of apartheid policies which were imposed on the majority of the Namibian people, denying them freedom and independence. Thousands of Namibian heroes and heroines sacrificed their lives and shed their precious blood for us to attain freedom and independence," Nujoma further said. Namibians suffered at the hands of the former South African apartheid regime. "Therefore, we should never, never again, allow ourselves to be divided along tribal lines, regionalism and ethnicity." Nujoma pointed out that it is only through the promotion of national unity that the country can honour its national heroes and heroines. "These are Captain Hendrik Witbooi, Jacob Marenga, Chief Kahimemwa Nguvauva, Chief Samuel Maharero, Chief Nehale Lya Mpingana, Chief Mandume ya Ndemufayo, Chief Ipumbu ya Tshilongo and others who fought for the resistance against German colonialism and South African apartheid colonial occupation. They stood firm for the protection and defence of the motherland from European colonial invaders. We must therefore continue to emulate their bravery and heroism, as we embark upon the second phase of the struggle for economic independence." Nujoma cautioned the population against being misled by those who say Swapo Party has lost vision and direction. He said Namibians are aware that only Swapo Party has the capacity to eradicate poverty, diseases and ignorance. He singled out various achievements by the Government. "The Swapo Party Government has embarked upon the construction of the Trans-Caprivi and Trans-Kalahari Highways which are important routes between the Walvis Bay Harbour and Namibia's neighbouring landlocked countries such as Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and Eastern DRC through the Ndola-Lubumbashi-Walvis Bay Corridor. We have also constructed the Northern Railway Extension Project from Tsumeb via Ondangwa to Oshikango to join the Angolan railway system in order to increase commercial trade between Namibia and Angola and the wider SADC region," outlined Nujoma. Despite these successes, the country faces many challenges, among others the construction of more transport networks to facilitate economic development. "The Swapo Party Government will intensify its efforts to complete the Rundu-Elundu road which is part of the wider Trans-Caprivi Highway through Nkurenkuru-Okongo-Eenhana-Onuno through Omafo-Ongenga-Okalongo-Outapi-Tsandi-Omakange-Opuwo to the envisaged port of Agra Fria on our north-western coast where a new harbour will be built. The Cape Fria Harbour will serve as an important link for Namibia, in particular and the wider SADC region as well as a gateway to Europe, North America as well as Latin America," he said. He said the Government will confront these challenges with determination and commitment, to ensure that all Namibians have access to potable water, rural electricity and quality health care. Nujoma urged Namibians to volunteer to work on projects in all the 13 regions so as to complement the Government's development efforts.
2008-01-07 00:00:00 10 years ago