• August 12th, 2020

Is One Namibia, One Nation losing its meaning?

WINDHOEK - Home affairs minister Frans Kapofi says it is very sad to observe that lately, Namibia is experiencing tribal remarks and in such an open manner over social networks.

He said people are making threats towards other Namibians not to travel and reside in parts other than from where they are traditionally known to hail.

He made the remarks in the National Assembly when contributing to the motion on social cohesion in Namibia as tabled by Swapo chief whip, Evelyn !Nawases-Taeyele.

The motion seeks to answer if Namibia is still united under the slogan, “One Namibia, One Nation”.
He noted there are people who are calling other Namibians foreigners in their regions, adding an undertone has been brewing for some time now that only people from the northern regions have been beneficiaries of government programmes.

“That only Oshiwambo speaking persons are being appointed into positions in the public sector. Before I became a Member of Parliament, I worked as a civil servant. In fact, I worked at the apex structure of the civil service. I cannot recall at any time, under the leadership of the founding President [Sam Nujoma] or his successors or the four Prime Ministers under whom I have served, that there were any programmes conceived with the purpose of benefiting any given tribe or group of people,” he said.

According to him, now that he is a minister, he can also not recall that there is any programme to unduly benefit the residents of some regions or ethnic background.

He said he visited Rwanda genocide memorials in recent years, where they cautioned that tribalism can be a dangerous weapon, which if unleashed can have untended consequences.

“We need to learn from the lessons of others. I fully agree with this sediment. This is the reason you find us always speaking against tribalism,” he cautioned.

Also contributing was Justice Minister Sacky Shanghala who said derogatory terms such as !abeba, mukweko, omuzootua, omukwanghala and muduni – which are used to victimise members of certain tribes - have no place in Namibia.

“We condemn them, and we reject them here in Namibia. As per the Swapo Party Constitution, retrogressive tendencies such as tribalism, ethnicity, nepotism, racism, sexism, chauvinism and all other unpatriotic ideas should be combated by all members of society and the party,” he reacted. 

Shanghala said One Namibia, One Nation concept is more than a mere tool for politicians who could be addressing a gathering, adding it’s a call for unity, borne from the depths of the souls of Africans, previously enslaved, subjected by colonialism and divided by apartheid.

Although Kapofi agrees that during the armed liberation struggle, there are some areas he knows where casspirs and Koevoet operated with impunity that caused the loss of lives of people and the destruction of properties.

However, he said its therefore hurtful, very painful indeed to have these people, proper victims of the war of yesterday, being made victims of ignorance through tribal tirades.

“We know it is an election year. We know that we are experiencing a severe drought. We know that we are in an economic recession. Perhaps this is the lowest point for morale since independence. Yet Namibia is still the best place to live in if I can say so myself, having travelled Africa and the world,” he said.
He, therefore, called on politicians and young people out there, to tread very carefully not to start wildfires which cannot be extinguished, saying once that ablaze is set, it will not discriminate whose property to burn and which not to burn.

Furthermore, Kapofi said people should take their leadership responsibilities with the seriousness they deserve and condemn all utterances of tribalism wherever they are made.

“Despite hate speech, insults hurled at our leaders from the younger generation, through different mediums, the unity of our nation remains strong. All is not lost as some would want us to believe. We have set Namibia on a course into the future. We will not allow Namibia to be dismembered by tribalism,” he remarked.

Albertina Nakale
2019-07-17 09:45:18 | 1 years ago


  1. User
    Esegiel Serogwe

    Tribalism is real and it is "an elephant in the room", that our leaders dont want to admit and tackle accordingly. It is difficult to solve a problem if keep side stepping it instead of admitting that it is there and it needs to be tackled head-on. As leaders and political office bearers, it is important to always consider the perception from the public on making decisions and when appointing people in positions of power. To combat tribalism in Namibia - the authorities and powers that may be should lead by example and create a perception of unity, as did the Founding President of Namibia.

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