WINDHOEK - President Hage Geingob said the government will not tolerate a situation where people suddenly establish distinct traditional communities and chieftainships, premised on personal motives, preference and ambitions.
He said this in his keynote address at the 22nd annual meeting of the Council of Traditional Leaders at Gobabis on Monday.
The meeting, being attended by 52 recognised traditional authority chiefs, ends Friday.
“We cannot have a situation where people suddenly want to establish distinct traditional communities, while all these years they have peacefully resorted under one traditional leader, sharing the same customs, values, language and culture without any problem,” Geingob said.
Geingob said constant applications are being received for the recognition of new traditional authorities, communities and leaders; a situation which he said if accommodated, may not only become financially unsustainable but also lead to further tribal divisions within the proverbial Namibian House.
However, Geingob told traditional leaders that where there are legitimate cases for recognition, facts should be established beyond doubt, based on thorough investigation.
Geingob also told traditional leaders to appreciate the government’s priority, which concentrates on issues of nation-building and economic advancement, as opposed to the unending tribal disputes, dissensions and quests for recognition.
“I am calling on all citizens, especially our elders and traditional leaders to uphold our traditional norms and customs, and avoid fuelling and planting seeds of division and dissent,” he said.
“You are the torchbearers of our cultural norms and traditions, which have as their goal, the advancement of peace, unity and the welfare of the community,” he added.
He said people can disagree without being disagreeable.
“People go to war when dialogue fails. I continue to advocate for inclusivity and dialogue whenever confronted by circumstances that foster uncertainty,” he said.
As Head of State, Geingob said he believes firmly in inclusive and constructive dialogue and applauds the Council and the Minister for ensuring the Council meets each year to deliberate on crucial issues pertaining to traditions and the country in general.
“I call on you, esteemed traditional leaders, to continue to work hand in hand with the government, in deepening and strengthening peace, unity and inclusive development,” he said.
Equally, Geingob appealed to government ministries such as the line ministry and the Office of the Attorney-General to speed up the conclusion of cases presented to them and not allow these to be delayed for years.
“We must reduce and eventually eliminate government bureaucracy and indecisiveness in dealing with matters of the public,” he stressed.
“Buck passing, undue delays and uncaring attitudes should be rooted out from our civil service henceforth,” he added.
2019-08-21 07:15:45 | 9 months ago