• January 19th, 2019
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Bequeath to them nationalism and not tribalism



Our population is young. They are young with bright minds, full of energy, vigour and thirst for knowledge. They are students, they are workers, they are voters and the majority of them are unemployed. Our future can be hopeful and it must be hopeful. There is no choice of failure.

I remember after the first democratic elections of November 1989, the future was work in progress. President Sam Nujoma, as then president, on a regular basis, emphasized the importance of nation building. 28 years later, one important pillar of nation building in my view, is how we treat the army of young people born after independence because many of them have no discernible knowledge or empathy of the bush war. They are the future and the present.

Thousands of them have lived in rural areas and in informal settlements. Thousands of them have lived in urban areas. Majority have known poverty and a few have known wealth. This is our Namibia. So many have grown up around the fire through culture and tradition. However, millions of them poor or rich, are raised by television and social media. These are off-spring of a free and independent Namibia. They are the morning of Namibia and the old guards are the sunset. What is the legacy to bequeath to this generation: nationalism or tribalism; prosperity or poverty?

They see it in 2018, that Namibia is dominated by tribal empowerment and dis-empowerment. It is a concept where the CEO of a certain company wants to employ only those from his tribe; a politician desires to be elected on the basis of his tribe; a permanent secretary wants to employ people that are only from his tribe; tenders must be allocated only on the basis of tribal, racial or other considerations; the allocation of land; the allocation of jobs; the allocation of all social amenities we have built a perception of favouritism and nepotism around it. Is this the legacy?

It is clear now that the liberation struggle was not about what we see today. Somewhere along the way, we have gone astray. The correction must come from the young generation. Those with energy and vigour to pursue patriotism and not tribalism. These are students, these are SWAPO Pioneers Movement, these are Student Christian Movement, these are young teachers, these are young engineers, these are young lawyers, these are young soldiers, these are young police officers, these are young doctors, these are young accountants, these are young journalists, these are young business people etc. Hope is pregnant in them. The legacy is them. They need to lead the ideological path of self-reliance geared towards practical rural development, informal settlement development and genuine economic empowerment for all households in all villages, in all informal settlements and in all towns.

This means that the political leadership must forget leading the ignorant but it must prepare to accept that 28 years has produced patriots that are not easy to be led through blind loyalty but through education which will make them difficult to enslave economically or politically. This requires therefore the need for us all to truly be one people with common identity, heritage and opportunities. I believe we should not be tired at this project especially the young generation that has the necessary energy to become pillars of nationalism. Yes, it is to them that biology is most favourable.

 We have a government established in 1990. It has not delivered everything but it is ours. The time is right to attempt uniting our tribes and to unite our races.

What is to be done?
1. It is my belief that nationalism must begin at household level. The stakeholders of nationalism must be parents, traditional leaders, church leaders and most importantly teachers.  I want to emphasise on parents and teachers. To this end, I should suggest the creation of institutional response to advancing practical nationalism in Namibia. Some schools from primary to secondary should be earmarked for centres of nationalism. For example, Vaalgrass, Berseba, Hoachanas, Gibeon, Okanguati, Kanono, Okombahe, Otjinene, Omundaungilo, Onkumbula, Rupara, Divundu, Bukalo, Ncuncuni, Katjinakatji, Rehoboth, Witvlei, Ruacana, Usakos are places whose schools could be earmarked for the above. This would require parents and teachers working together on a curriculum of training young people from early age to be infused in all corners of Namibia

2. The appointment or elections of governors should not be done on the basis of tribal consideration but rather on national basis. Dr Audrin Mathe and I advocated this point whilst former President Pohamba was contemplating appointing governors for the first time a few years ago. This would imply a Baster to be a governor of Oshana for example and vice versa. Nationalism is not a bed of roses, there are bound to be some challenges here and there, but for us to coexist to posterity we need bold steps.

3.  At institutions of higher learning, efforts must be made to allow students to freely have research papers that are geared towards nationalism. That is to say, they should not fear for a Herero to research about how to cook mutete at Katjinakatji and for a Damara to research how to pound mahangu at Oshikulufitu.

4. In the government structures it may not change instantly but in the future once nationalism is institutionalised there would be no need to see appointments being made on the basis of friends or buddies but rather on the basis of their competency and therefore qualification.

5. Television and social media must join with culture and tradition as a medium to advance nationalism.

6. In the final analysis, there should be no excuse that warrants the destruction of a Party’s ethos or a country’s national interest. It is true that many of our freedom fighters are now old, it is important that what they bequeath to succeeding generations must not be tribalism or divisions or bankrupting the country. It will be an unpatriotic act on our part as a generation to remain mute and merely clap hands while the Pope is setting alight to the Catholic Church just because he is older than us. It is our patriotic duty and obligation to safeguard the gains of the Namibian revolution, hence the views as above. One Namibia One Nation must be in practice not in some theories that are visibly failing.


New Era Reporter
2018-09-13 10:10:09 4 months ago

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