The Council of Traditional Leaders has condemned the despicable, abhorrent behaviour of some youth groupings for showing disrespect towards national leaders, including President Hage Geingob.
Deputy chairperson of the council Chief Immanuel /Gaseb yesterday urged young people to show respect for the elderly, saying that the nation’s senior citizens were “the backbone” upon which Namibia was built and they therefore deserve more care and respect.
/Gaseb said this while reacting to a recent case of young businessman Michael Amushelelo who in a widely circulated video on social media is heard referring to Geingob as a “dog”.
/Gaseb’s call follows that of Swapo vice-president Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah who this week - condemned in the strongest terms - the latest insults hurled at Geingob, saying that such insults are aimed at inciting public hatred, tribalism, hostility and violence against the president. “We are very disappointed towards some members of the youth groups who openly use derogative languages towards President Hage Geingob,” /Gaseb said.
“It is very much disturbing and unacceptable that youth, obviously belonging to a traditional community can make such public insults and while the leader and his family members go silent about such embarrassing conduct from the community.” He therefore called on traditional leaders to rise and condemn the “mounting unbecoming behaviour of disrespect, hate and insult towards elders by the Namibian youth”.
“We condemn such behaviour as unethical and we call upon the youth of this country to preserve the peace and tranquility we are enjoying in this country by respecting our elected leaders and elders,” he said.
He also used the opportunity to call upon all patriotic Namibians to go out in numbers at attend the 30th Independence Day celebrations. This week, police chief Sebastian Ndeitunga called on citizens, especially organisers of public gatherings to sensitise their members that “in as much as they have an agenda to advance, to not infringe on other people’s rights”.
In an interview with Nampa on Sunday, Ndeitunga also urged the public to refrain from insulting elders at public gatherings. “To me it’s an abuse of freedom of expression and it is indeed against the African culture and tradition.” He added that the constitution does not give anyone the freedom to violate the dignity of any individual, irrespective of their status in society, or political or economic inclination. “The president of the country is allowed to be criticised if he is not doing well on what the majority of the country expect of him, but he does not deserve to be insulted and ridiculed. Where the law can take its course, the police will explore all the avenues that are guaranteed by law to see if the people that insulted the president can be made responsible for their statement,” he noted. Ndeitunga said that criticism is allowed, especially if there is no performance because that is the duty of leaders, but respect should be accorded, because all people are entitled to basic human rights and freedoms.